LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour drivers have starred within a stunning 1-2 result for Audi in the 24 Hours of Dubai held across the weekend.
German team Car Collection Motorsport won the race, the #88 Audi R8 LMS GT3, drivers Dirk Parhofer, Christopher Haase, Frédéric Vervisch and Rik Breukers racked up a total of 607 laps of the 5.3 km circuit.
Haase will share an Audi Sport Team Valvoline R8 with Christopher Mies and Markus Winkelhock in the Bathurst classic, while Vervisch will share the sister car with Garth Tander and Kelvin van der Linde.
Mies finished second in Dubai, sharing a similar R8 with Mohammed Saud Fahad Al Saud, Michael Vergers and 2018 Bathurst winner, Dries Vanthoor.
20-year old Dutch hotshoe Rik Breukers drove the Audi across the finish line and said: “What a race! I am so happy for the team, for Audi and myself! I drove for nine and a half hours. It was tough, but this win is a great reward.”
In the opening hour, the Car Collection Motorsport Audi turned up in the lead for the first time and then led for most of the evening and the night, other teams mainly taking brief turns in the lead based on different pit stop strategies. As one of the two Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3s (#3, Luca Stolz / Khaled Al Qubaisi / Jeroen Bleekemolen / Ben Keating / Manuel Mezger) retired with a broken right front wheel suspension and the sister car (#2, Abdulaziz Al Fasal / Hubert Haupt / Yelmer Buurman / Saud Al Faisal / Adam Christodolou) lost time due to brake issues, the Audi again took the lead on lap 378 in the 16th hour of the race and kept its position throughout the final eight hours. On lap 426, just after 8 am on Saturday, Frédéric Vervisch posted the fastest lap time of the race in 1m58.695s.
For Audi, the success marks the second win at Dubai after the victory by WRT in 2016. Under the MS7 by WRT banner, the Belgian outfit now completed Audi’s success by claiming second place with the #7 entry (Mohammed Saud Fahad Al Saud / Michael Vergers / Christopher Mies / Dries Vanthoor). The Bohemia Energy racing by Scuderia Praha Ferrari (#11, Jiri Pisarik / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli) finished third. The pole-winning GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini (#63, Mirko Bortolotti / Christian Engelhart / Rolf Ineichen / Mark Ineichen) recovered strongly after suspension damage due to a collision in the first hour and still finished fourth while the Attempto (#99, Stanislav Minsky / Klaus Bachler / Nicholas Foster / Marvin Dienst / Steijn Schothorst) and BWT Mücke Motorsport (#9, Markus Winkelhock / Mike David Ortmann / Andreas Weishaupt / Stefan Mücke / Ricardo Feller) made it four Audis in the top six of the GT division and the A6-Pro class.
The battle for A6-Am class honours was a close one, with the HTP Motorsport Mercedes (#25, Alexander Hrachowina / Martin Konrad / Bernd Schneider / Indy Dontje / Brice Bosi) just coming out on top, one lap ahead of the Herberth Motorsport Porsche (#91, Daniel Alleman / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer). Two laps further down, the Car Collection Motorsport Audi (#34, Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Elmar Grimm / Ingo Vogler) claimed third place in class.
The Leipert Motorsport team won the SPX class with its Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#710, Harald Schlotter / Jake Rattenbury / Marcus Påverud / Khaled Al Mudhaf / Frederik Schandorff). With MRS GT-Racing (#990, Werner Neugebauer / Daniel Schneider / Ricardo Mauricio / Dennis Dirani) and Speed Lover (#778, Dominique Bastien / Gilles Petit / Nigel Farmer / Jean-Michel Gerome), two Porsche teams rounded out the top three in class.
UAE-based team Duel Racing (#950, Ramzi Moutran / Nabil Moutran / Sami Moutran / Charlie Eastwood) scored a popular 991 Cup class win to add to its touring car class wins from previous years. MRS GT-Racing (#980, Helmut Roedig / Christopher Zoechling / Yutaka Matsushima / Gosia Rdest / Wolfgang Triller) and Porsche Lorient Racing (#911, Pascal Gibon / Lionel Amrouche / Frédéric Ancel) came second and third.
There was more success for MRS GT-Racing as the German team won the GT4 class with its BMW M4 GT4 (#426, Franjo Kovac / Tomas Pekar / Fredrik Lestrup / Thomas Tekaat). In a nail-biting finish, the Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 (#451, Olaf Meyer / Björn Simon / Fidel Leib / Stephan Epp / Simon Tibbett) inherited second place in class after the QSR Racingschool Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#454, Jimmy de Breucker / Rodrigue de Gillion / Michiel Verhaeren / Nico Verdonck) came to a halt with only seven minutes remaining. The Belgian outfit still came third in class.
Words & Images with thanks to www.24hseries.com