A strong opening part for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in 24h Dubai race

A strong opening part for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in 24h Dubai race

12.01.2018: 24H Series - 24h Dubai The 24-hour race in Dubai is on in full swing. On Friday afternoon, a total of 89 cars took

24H Series - 24h Dubai



The 24-hour race in Dubai is on in full swing. On Friday afternoon, a total of 89 cars took on the first endurance racing highlight of the new calendar year, among them ten Mercedes-AMG GT3 and three Mercedes-AMG GT4.




During the first hours of the race, the teams with the cars from Affalterbach showed a promising performance: with 178 laps of the 5.390 kilometres long circuit completed, five Mercedes-AMG GT3 are within the top ten of the overall standings.



 In the GT4 class, the Customer Racing Teams also have good perspectives while running in second, third and fifth place.



In excellent weather conditions and with high asphalt temperatures, the right tyre management in particular was playing a major role in the early stages of the race.



Having started from second place on the grid, the #3 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 opted for a particularly good strategy: the quartet of Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Manuel Metzger (GER) and Luca Stolz (GER) regularly took turns at the lead of the field and are running in second place with 178 laps completed after seven hours of racing.



Another car to establish itself at the front of the field was the #25 (HTP Motorsport): Brice Bosi (LUX), Indy Dontje (NED), Alexander Hrachowina (AUT), Martin Konrad (AUT) and Bernd Schneider (GER) are in fourth place.



Having started from third place on the grid, the #2 BLACK FALCON sister car with Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Gabriele Piana (ITA) lost a few positions in dense traffic during the early stages of the races, but worked its way back up towards the podium places and is currently in fifth place.




The two SPS automotive-performance cars round out the intermediate top ten with the #16 in eight and starting number 24 in tenth place. Last year’s Pro-AM winners, the #1 Hofor Racing entry, has the top ten within reach while in eleventh position.



The best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT4, the #24 (BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction) with Antares Au (HKG), Jonathan Hui (HKG), Kevin Tse (MAC) and Frank Yu (HKG) is heading into the night in second place in its class.



The RACE Scout by Winward / HTP Motorsport team with Norberto Fontana (ARG), Christian Gebhardt (GER), Bernd Schneider (GER), Bryce Ward (USA) and Russel Ward (USA) is third in class. The #233 (Besagroup Racing) with Roland Asch (GER), Sebastian Asch (GER), Franjo Kovac (CRO), Cora Schumacher (GER) and Fidel Leib (GER) is running in fifth position in class.



Jeroen Bleekemolen, BLACK FALCON #3:
“So far, we have had an excellent race. During the first hour, I was able to take the lead. That really was a great moment that I enjoyed very much. We hope for things to continue like this and that we can stay out of all the troubles. With the many cars on track, you have to be wide awake all the time, also during the night.”





Bernd Schneider, HTP Motorsport #25:
“I am really happy after my start stint. After qualifying, I was still a bit disappointed as things hadn’t gone too well. We didn’t have perfect grip. But in the opening stages of the race, I was able to make up a few positions and our pit stops went perfectly. Things can really go on like this. But now, we are heading into the night, and that tends to be quite long here in Dubai.”



Sebastian Asch, Besagroup Racing #233:
“It was a really good first stint, it was fun. Especially after the start, you have to be extremely careful with such dense traffic on track. I already know the Mercedes-AMG GT4 from the development and it really is great to drive here in Dubai, too. So far, things are going well, let’s see what the night will bring.”



Dominik Baumann, SPS automotive-performance #16:
“My first stint was still in daylight. The car was running very well. We found a very good set-up. My stint was largely trouble-free apart from a ten seconds’ time penalty for a track limit infringement, but that wasn’t too bad. There was a lot going on out there on track, but currently, everybody is behaving in a very disciplined way. I am looking forward to my next stint during the night.”



 
Jochen Übler, photos Mercedes

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mercedes-amg-motorsport-24h-dubai-race---171525.html

12.01.2018 / MaP

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