MRS victory in Dubai and two more podiums 24h Dubai 2019

MRS victory in Dubai and two more podiums 24h Dubai 2019

14.01.2019: The MRS driver line-up of this year’s 24h Dubai consisted of 14 nations and is the most international team of the whole starting grid.

The MRS driver line-up of this year’s 24h Dubai consisted of 14 nations and is the most international team of the whole starting grid.
 



991 class - Porsche 991 GT3 Cup


#979 - Olivier Baharian / Thierry Blaise / Manuel Nicolaidis / Michael Markussen

#980 - Helmut Rödig / Christopher Zöchling / Yukata Matsushima / Gosia Rdest / Wolfgang Triller

#989 - Tamotsu Kondo / Kenji Abe / Motoharu Sato / Xu Wei  / Naoki Yokomizo
 


SPX class - Porsche 991 GT3 Cup

#990 - Werner Neugebauer /Daniel Schneider / Ricardo Mauricio / Dennis Dirani
 

GT4 class - BMW M4 GT4


#426 - Franjo Kovac / Thomas Pekar / Fredrik Lestrup / Thomas Tekaat




 

As in the year before, one car had an accident in the first practice session and the damage was so huge that the repair had to be done overnight by a local car body workshop. Just in time, approximately seven minutes before the end of the qualifying on Thursday, the car with the starting number 980 was ready and could qualify for a remarkable fifth position for the race around the clock.
 

The sister cars in the class reached the eighth and eleventh position. The Brazilian casted car in the SPX class was able to get a good third position. The BMW GT4 achieved the eighth place in class.

 


On Friday, at three pm, the 74 cars started in the 24 hours race in Dubai. Already in the first lap, Christopher Zöchling managed to drive from the fifth to the second position and only some laps later, he took over the lead. Continuously, he increased the gap to the runner-up.

 


Already half an hour after the start, the #979 collided with another car and had to come into the pits with a damaged cooler. The MRS mechanics did everything to repair the Porsche as fast as possible. After half an hour the car could get back on track.

 


After the accident, bad news: the Porsche #980, leading the 991 class, had a tire puncture and had to head slowly to the box, a loss of a few minutes. This incident threw back the MRS Porsche to the end of the class.


In the next hours, everything went without any further incidents. With constant lap times and faultless run, the drivers on the #980 were able to move forward to the top 3.
 


 

Also, the #990 convinced with the fastest lap times in the class and after a few hours took over the lead in the SPX class. From now on, the Brazilian car fought for the lead with the Lamborghini Huracan. This fight should last until the end of the race.

 

For the Porsche #979, early involved in an accident, it was about to catch up the lost time spent in the box. Without any incident, the crew moved up to the fifth position in class.


The Porsche #989 gained two positions at the start of the race and in the next hours made his way to the eighth position.


Unfortunately, the BMW GT4 lost some time during the pit stop because the fuel station was crowded during Code 60. However, the drivers could maintain their position with good lap times.


 

Throughout the night it was quiet for the MRS crew. The Code 60 phases were used very well for the strategy to get some more advantages on track.


 
In the daybreak, after 16 hours racing time, the MRS box was crowded again for a short time. The car with the number 979 reported noises from the drive system and came into the pits. The Porsche had to quit the race after an amazing catch-up race due to gearbox damage.


Also, the Porsche #989 had to interrupt the race, damage at the rear suspension led to an unwanted break.

 

In the last four hours, the #980 defended his third position in class. The gap to the second position was six laps.


The #989 carried on running without any problems and tried to catch up the lost time.



With a gap of one lap, the #990 continued the catch-up race on the first position, while the new BMW GT4 took the lead in the GT4 class. This car was one of the fastest in his class.




 

In the last hours, the MRS cars put again the pedal to the metal.



The fight for the lead in the GT4 class continued until the end of the race, since hours the gap between the top 5 was within some seconds. With fastest laps and an efficient strategy, in the final minutes, the #426 ensured the win in the GT4 class. A terrific race, especially because the car started from the eighth position.

 


In the 991 class, the #980 reached a well-deserved second position after a remarkable catch-up race. The sister car #989, which was bothered by a few incidents, achieved the sixth place. A great result for the drivers. The Brazilian on the #990 could be happy about a podium. After a faultless race, they crossed the finish line as second in the SPX class.



 

Karsten Molitor: “This was an exciting race and at the same time the biggest success for our team at the 24 hours in Dubai. To take part with five cars and to achieve such a glee, has never been reached before. A huge thank you to the whole team on site and also to the people who prepared this operation for months.



 

Remarkable that we could win our first GT4 race in team history. That is not self-evident with a completely new car. The competition in the GT4 class was huge, particularly because the first two cars were separated by just 30 seconds until 15 minutes before the end of the race.

 


In the SPX class it was obvious that we couldn’t do anything against the stronger Lamborghini. The more important it was that we always drove at the limit and made no mistakes. So, we are very happy about this second position.



 

In the Cup class, we are always rushing for the lost time due to the early puncture. Even though these were just a few minutes, nowadays a 24 hours race leaves no room for such incidents. The drivers on the Japanese occupied car have done a great and faultless job, it is a pity that in the morning the suspension has thwarted a better result. Nevertheless, the sixth place in this highly occupied class is a pleasant end result.



The failure of the number 979 makes us very sad. The recovery from the accident at the beginning of the race was really worth seeing and promising. The drivers did a great job and certainly did not deserve this failure. Unfortunately, this is part of endurance racing.



Altogether we are very happy, four out of five cars have survived the 24 hours, three could reach a podium, one with a remarkable victory. Thanks to everyone who helped to achieve such a great result and thanks to our drivers for their trust."




Konstanze Eichner- photos MRS Racing

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mrs-victory-dubai-podiums-24h-dubai---185281.html

14.01.2019 / MaP

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