Difficult start into the season at Dubai 24H for BLACK FALCON

Difficult start into the season at Dubai 24H for BLACK FALCON

15.01.2019: Team BLACK FALCON has completed the opening event of 2019, the Hankook 24H Dubai, with one of their pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries coming home 15th after a challenging but exciting race

Team BLACK FALCON has completed the opening event of 2019, the Hankook 24H Dubai, with one of their pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries coming home 15th after a challenging but exciting race.




The team were unlucky with some Code 60 safety periods early in the race, with both BLACK FALCON AMG entries losing out at times, but the drivers fought back and both AMG would take turns leading the race overall during the depth of the night. Unfortunately, subsequent unconnected technical issues hit both cars and caused long visits to the pit garage; one AMG was forced to retire, but the second car returned to the fray and battled right to the end, eventually completing 579 laps after a tough 24 hours.




The team’s two Mercedes-AMG GT3 were entered in the top-line A6-Pro class. The #2 BLACK FALCON AMG’s driver squad included three of the four drivers who won in Dubai in 2018, Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Hubert Haupt (Germany) and Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands), who were joined by Saud Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) and the vastly experienced Adam Christodoulou (United Kingdom). The second AMG, Abu Dhabi Racing Black Falcon #3, was driven by Luca Stolz (Germany), Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Ben Keating (USA) and Manuel Metzger (Germany).




In Free Practice the team used the track time to prepare for the following qualifying session. AMG #2 in the hands of Burrman finished sixth on the 74-strong grid, setting the fastest time of all AMG GT3s; Bleekemolen in #3 wasn’t far away and secured another top 10 starting position setting the ninth fastest time overall.




At 15:00 local time, the massed group of cars burst onto the main straight, blasting down to the first corner of the first lap. With 74 starters trying to fit through one turn, the starting drivers for the pair of BLACK FALCON AMG had to balance aggression with the reality of the full day of racing ahead of them – but the experience of Yelmer in #2 and Jeroen in #3 meant the result was never in doubt. The two drivers spent the first hour consolidating positions for the long road ahead, judging the strength of competition and settling in for the long haul.




BLACK FALCON’s drivers cycled through their opening stints, with the AMG really coming on song as darkness descended and cooler temperatures set in. #3’s efforts were rewarded with the lead of the race in the ninth hour, with #2 close behind. Their steady pace at the front of the field was interrupted, however, as #2 started experiencing technical issues during the 10th hour that forced the AMG into the pits for repairs that severely delayed the car. Worse came soon after, as a technical failure on #3 brought their participation to a sudden end after 380 laps, having been consistently in contention at the sharp end of the race for several hours.




With both cars having run so strongly in Dubai, the problems were undoubtedly disappointing – but the team could take heart in the strong pace demonstrated in the desert. This bodes well for the team’s next outing, which is in the very different environment of Mount Panorama, the famous Australian circuit that will host the Liqui Moly 12 Hours in three weeks time.




- Black Falcon photos  Sportscode

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/black-falcon-24h-dubai-difficult-start---185327.html

15.01.2019 / MaP

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