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Car Collection Motorsport seals first Audi victory in Dubai for three years, Leipert Motorsport seals comfortable win in SPX, Duel Racing takes win in attrition-hit 991-class, and GT4 ends with, possibly, the most dramatic finish in Dubai history.
 
It was difficult to ignore the parallels with not only last year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI but also the race in 2016 as the 2019 24H SERIES season opener got under way in Dubai. For the second year in a row, the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#63, Mirko Bortolotti / Christian Engelhart / Rolf and Mark Ineichen) had grabbed the outright pole position, Mirko Bortolotti once again the man in the hot seat. Like 2018, the pole-sitting raging bull withheld a strong challenge into turn one to lead throughout the opening hour, only for poor luck  to drop the shock green Huracán towards the tail of the field. This would open the door for, bizarrely, another dramatic late-race retirement for event legend Black Falcon and dominant victory yet again for a popular German marque.
 
But with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 comprehensively outgunned this year, victory at the 14th annual Hankook 24H DUBAI instead went to Audi. Cue more parallels, this time with 2016.
 
Heading into 2019, Audi had ‘just’ a single race win to its name at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, albeit a commanding one. Three years earlier the R8 LMS occupied three of the top five overall finishing spots –including two podium positions – and led 501 of the 588 completed laps. It was a giant-killing performance from the brand new R8 LMS.
 
This year, the new-for-2019 R8 LMS GT3 went even further, Car Collection Motorsport (#88, Dimitri Parhofer / Christopher Haase / Frédéric Vervisch / Rik Breukers) – the 24H SERIES’ most tenured four-ringed customer – led 560 of an eventual 607 laps to take the team’s first ever win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, only its second outright win in the 24H SERIES, and the team’s first ever A6-Pro class win after a flawless display.
 
Overall (GT) Top 3
 
  1. Car Collection Motorsport (#88, Audi) – 607 laps
  2. MS7 by WRT (#7, Audi) – 606 laps
  3. Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha (#11, Ferrari) – 603 laps 

GT Championship of the Continents Top3  (after round 1)
 
  1. Car Collection Motorsport (#88, Audi, A6-Pro) – 30 pointsDuel Racing (#950, Porsche, 991) – 30 points
  2. MRS GT-Racing (#426, BMW, GT4) – 29 points
  3. HTP Motorsport (#25, Mercedes-AMG, A6-Am) – 29 points
  4. Leipert Motorsport (#710, Lamborghini, SPX) – 29 points
 
 
A6 – Audi 1-2 in A6 while HTP Mercedes seals A6-Am victory
  With Car Collection Motorsport (#88) safely ensconced out front, the fight for 2nd place overall thus came down to the Black Falcon cars, a recovering GRT Grasser Racing Team, BWT Muecke Motorsport, and, briefly, Attempto Racing.
 
The first to drop out of contention was GRT, the shock green machine running comfortably at the front, as it had done one year earlier, before Bortolotti, baulked by traffic, dropped to 3rd shortly before the first pit stop. Despite keeping the leaders in check for the next two hours, a snapped control arm at the right rear corner dropped the polesitter to the tail of A6 and four laps behind, a suspected fuel leak during the night costing the Italian team even more time. 4th at the flag was an astounding result after a tumultuous race.
 
BWT Muecke Motorsport (#9, Markus Winkelhock / Mike-David Ortmann / Andreas Weishaupt / Stefan Mücke / Ricardo Feller), despite limited luck during the Code 60 caution periods, was also well in touch for a podium finish throughout the night, only for a punctured radiator to quash those chances. The disappointed crew eventually finished 6th overall, just behind Attempto Racing (#99, Stanislav Minsky / Klaus Bachler / Nicholas Foster / Marvin Dienst / Steijn Schothorst), whose own race was stymied by punctures. The sister #66 Audi R8 LMS (Adrian Amstutz / Patrick Kujala / Mattia Drudi / Kelvin van der Linde / Stanislav Minsky) retired before half-distance with fuel feed problems and a broken driveshaft, but the German outfit could nevertheless celebrate its best ever result – 5th overall – at the Hankook 24H DUBAI.
 
One of the biggest stories of the race revolved around Black Falcon, the multi-time event winner, incredibly, failing to get either of its Mercedes-AMG GT3s to the finish of the 2019 Hankook 24H DUBAI. The first – #2 (Abdulaziz Al Faisal / Hubert Haupt / Yelmer Buurman / Saud Al Faisal / Adam Christodoulou) – ran the Car Collection Motorsport Audi hard throughout the evening, but ultimately fell foul of terminal brake problems during the night while running a comfortable 2nd. Though the sister #3 Mercedes – Luca Stolz, Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Manuel Metzger – continued the podium fight thereafter, it was also not to be as suspension failure struck just nine hours from home.
 
This left the door open for MS7 by WRT (#7, Mohammed Saud Fahad Al Saud / Michael Vergers / Christopher Mies / Dries Vanthoor), returning after finishing 7th overall in Dubai last year, to finish 2nd overall and secure an Audi 1-2, despite neither the drink system nor air conditioning working properly. Even Matteo Mallucelli couldn’t help but smile as the Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha Ferrari 488 GT3 (#11, Jiří Písařík / Josef Kral / Matteo Malucelli), outpaced down the Autodrome’s long straights by the team’s own admission by the Audis and the Lamborghinis, weathered an attrition-hit A6 class to take the final outright podium spot. The result marked only the third that a Ferrari has finished on the outright podium in Dubai, and the first time since Dragon Racing also took 3rd place overall in 2015.
 
First of the A6-Am runners home was HTP Motorsport (#25, Alexander Hrachowina / Martin Konrad / Bernd Schneider / Indy Dontje), the Mercedes-AMG GT3 having survived a fraught race in-class that saw CP Racing felled by an on-track clash – more on that in a second – and long-time leaders Target Racing (#12, Dennis Lind / Giacomo Altoé / Timur Boguslavskiy / Stefano Costantini / Alex Autumn) grind to a halt on-track with fuel pump issues with just four hours to run. The incident cost the otherwise pristine Lamborghini 20 minutes of recovery time, relegating the Italian team to 5th in-class at the flag. HTP Motorsport, having “run like clockwork”, would not be stopped thereafter.
 
2017 event winners Herberth Motorsport (#91, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert and Alfred Renauer) performed in customary faultless fashion to finish 2nd in A6-Am. Impressively, the team;s second entry in Dubai – the ‘Team Porsche Centre Hong Kong’-entered #92 Porsche 911 GT3 R – finished just 28s adrift of the A6-Am class podium, a strong result for the first of a season-long full-time two-car line-up for Herberth Motorsport in the 24H SERIES in 2019. Rounding out the overall top 10, Team Porsche Centre Hong Kong finished just ahead of Target Racing and SAINTELOC (#26, Christian Kelders / Pierre-Yves Paque / Daniel Desbrueres / Nyls Stievenart / Simon Gachet), the French Audi R8 LMS recovering brilliantly after technical issues forced the Audi R8 LMS to start dead last.
 
Splitting the Herberth machines was the second of three Car Collection Motorsport entries. Over-shadowed by its A6-Pro sister entry in the lead, 3rd in A6-Am was still a great result for the 24H SERIES stalwarts, and an impressive run for Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff, Gustav Edelhoff, Elmar Grimm and Ingo Vogler after the team’s agonising near miss in last year’s European Championship.
 
Car Collection’s luck would run out though with the third entry, the #33 R8 LMS (Simon Reicher / Murod Sultanov / Martin Berry / Klaus Koch / Philipp Sager), forced to retire after a bizarre incident with CP Racing (#85). Caught unawares in his eponymously entered Mercedes-AMG, Charles Putman – competing with fellow European and Champions of the Continents Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster, and American compatriot Shane Lewis – could not avoid oil dropped by the soon-to-be retired TCR entry of Zengo Motorsport (check out the TCE report HERE), the spinning Mercedes inadvertently slamming into the Car Collection Audi through the Dubai Autodrome’s off-camber ‘bowl’. Almost an hour was spent repairing the damage on the Mercedes-AMG, but the Audi, now with a crumpled front end and heavy suspension damage, was done for the day. Ironically, CP Racing finished 7th in A6-Am, one place ahead of the #33 Audi.
 
Equally in the wars was former series champion, Hofor-Racing (#10, Michael Kroll / Chantal and Alexander Prinz / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout), which, for the second year in a row, would not make the chequered flag in Dubai. Having run comfortably in the A6-Am top five during the opening five hours and even threatened the podium contenders, the Merc’s race would be brought to a close by a mystery technical fault affecting the AMG’s V8. This, after the team had already received a clout from a Porsche Cup car heading into turn 1.
 
“It’s a big mystery” explained Chantal Prinz, who once again teamed with husband Alexander. “We thought it may be the water pump, so we’ll just keep going until we find the problem”. So ill-struck was Hofor-Racing in Dubai in fact that the plug was even pulled on the team’s Bonk Motorsport-affiliated BMW M4 in the GT4 class (#50, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Gustav Engljaehringer / Michael Fischer / Liesette Braams), contact on-track all-but destroying the BMW’s steering. A great shame on the team’s first race since stepping up from CUP1 and after a dominant run to the 24H TCE SERIES European Championship and TCE Championship of the Continents.
 
The most dramatic retirement from A6-Am though came courtesy of MP Motorsport (#19, Daniel de Jong / Bert de Heus / Henk de Jong / Jaap van Lagen). The Mercedes-AMG had been challenging for the final podium spot in A6-Am as darkness fell, but its run was ended against both the wall at turn eight and, unfortunately, the CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 (check out the TCE report HERE). Bert de Heus emerged unscathed, but the Mercedes front end was completely destroyed, and the race was done after 91 tours. Sadly, a heavy collision into the wall and a flattened nose also spelt the end of the road for Hankook 24H DUBAI regulars V8 Racing (#18, Max Braams / Wolf Nathan / Duncan Huisman / Rick Abresch / Finlay Hutchison) on, possibly, the team’s last ever race with the Corvette C6 ZR1.
 
Finally, a potentially strong home race for GPX Racing (#24, Frederic Fatien / Jean-Pierre Valentini / Jordan Grogor / Nicky Pastorelli  / Stuart Hall) – effectively a re-branded GP Extreme and having swapped the Renaultsport RS01 GT3 for a Porsche 911 GT3 R – was upended with persistent gearbox issues, the UAE-based team finally waving the white flag after 506 laps to protect the Porsche’s straight-six engine.
 
A6-Pro Top 3
 
  1. Car Collection Motorsport (#88, Audi) – 607 laps
  2. MS7 by WRT (#7, Audi) – 606 laps
  3. Bohemia Energy racing with Scuderia Praha (#11, Ferrari) – 603 laps 

A6-Am Top 3
 
  1. HTP Motorsport (#25, Mercedes-AMG) – 595 laps
  2. Herberth Motorsport (#91, Porsche) – 594 laps
  3. Car Collection Motorsport (#34, Audi) – 592 laps 

A6 Championship of the Continents Top 3 (after round 1)
 
  1. Car Collection Motorsport (#88, Audi) – 30 points
  2. HTP Motorsport (#25, Mercedes-AMG) – 29 points
  3. MS7 by WRT (#7, Audi) – 28 points 
 
SPX – Leipert Lamborghini secures SPX victory
  At the six-hour mark, Leipert Motorsport (#710, Harald Schlotter / Jake Rattenbury / Marcus Påverud / Khaled Al Mudhaf / Frederik Schandorff) had firmly nailed its colours to the mast for SPX class victory in Dubai. Having already taken category pole position, despite competition early on from MRS GT-Racing, the superior pace of the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo around the high-speed Dubai Autodrome meant the Italian supercar had garnered a five-lap lead come the chequered flag. The commanding win was Leipert Motorsport’s first since last years’ Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
 
An equally strong run – the team described their race as “faultless” – meant the ‘Brazilian’ MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#990, Werner Neugebauer / Daniel Schneider / Ricardo Mauricio / Dennis Dirani) finished 2nd in-class ahead of reigning SPX champions, Speed Lover (#778, Dominique Bastien / Gilles Petit / Nigel Farmer / Jean-Michel Gerome). It was not the easiest of runs for the Porsche 991-I Cup though, the Belgian team repelling what it called “minor issues” – i.e. accident damage – to complete the SPX podium.
 
A solid race from reigning SP2 European Champions VDS Racing Adventures (#758, Raphaël van der Straten / Wolfgang Haugg / Hary Putz / Joel Vanloocke / José Close) in only its second race with the brand new, second generation MARC V8 – no, it’s not a Mustang – ended with 4th in SPX, 65 laps clear of 2018 A3-class European Champions, Cor Euser Racing (#717, Cor Euser / Einar Thorsen / Sam Allpass / Dennis Houweling / Der Bommel). The latter, having already lost several laps when the right front rear rattled itself loose heading into turn 16 – the team would lose even more time during a clumsy attempt to recover the steering-less BMW to the pitlane through a gap in the pitwall, blocking pit entry entirely – Cor Euser’s eponymous entry would battle race-long steering issues en-route to 5th in-class.
 
Reiter Engineering’s return to the 24H SERIES meanwhile was fated from the get-go. After just 12 laps, Nicolai Elghanayan brought the #246 KTM X-Bow (Adam Galas / Jan Krabec/ Nicolai Elghanayan / Benjamin Mazatis) into the pits with an oil leak, one that caused the engine to burst into flames in the team’s pit box. Determined to get the Austrian sports car running again, almost nine hours were spent replacing the drivetrain in its entirety. Admittedly the KTM, now stone last in SPX, ran solidly from then on before grinding to a halt at turn 10 with just 3.5 hours left to run.
 
Incredibly, things were even bleaker for the sister #247 KTM (Dean Koutsoumidis / Glen Wood / Mathias Beche / James Winslow). Climbing as high as 4th in-class by quarter-distance, terminal electrical problems meant the X-BOW would complete only 173 laps. This was 28 less than the returning Vortex V8 (#701, Arnaud and Olivier Gomez / Alban Varutti), which lost 2h 15m – and 2nd in-class – after a shunt on-track, the resultant handling issues eliminating the 01 sports car entirely before half-distance.
 
SPX Top 3
 
  1. Leipert Motorsport (#710, Lamborghini) – 581 laps
  2. MRS GT-Racing (#990, Porsche) – 576 laps
  3. Speed Lover (#778, Porsche) – 555 laps 

SPX Championship of the Continents Top 3 (after round 1)
 
  1. Leipert Motorsport (#710, Lamborghini) – 29 points
  2. MRS GT-Racing (#990, Porsche) – 26 points
  3. Speed Lover (#778, Porsche) – 24 points 
 
991 – Duel Racing takes first win at home with Porsche 991
 
Heading into the 2019 24H SERIES season opener, it had been some time since Duel Racing had triumphed on ‘home turf’ in Dubai: having collected A3T class victory in 2015 – en-route to that year’s Teams’ championship – and the TCR class win a year later with the soon-to-be-retired SEAT Leon Cup Racer, bad luck meant the regional favourites posted duck eggs in 2017 and 2018. Third time lucky, Duel Racing (#950, Ramzi, Nabil and Sami Moutran / Charlie Eastwood) finally took its third class win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in commanding style, 10 laps clear of its nearest rival. This might not be the last we see of the former 24H SERIES champions this season either…
 
With just four hours of the race left, 2nd in-class looked set to go to NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#991, Harry Hilders / Roeland Voerman / Gijs Bessem / Bob Herber), the former CUPRA TCR runners making their first start with the Porsche 991-II Cup and demonstrating its usually well-oiled pit work. A dream podium finish on the Porsche’s debut though came to nought when Gijs Bessem ran wide at turn five and detonated the front end against the barriers with just over four hours to go. The Dutch team was out on the spot, bringing out the event’s 19th and final Code 60 caution period. Bessem, mercifully, emerged from the wreck unhurt.
 
2nd in-class instead went to a relieved MRS GT-Racing (#980, Helmut Rödig / Christopher Zochling / Yutaka Matsushima / Gosia Rdest / Wolfgang Triller), which started its weekend on the back foot after a massive smash during free practice. The extensively rebuilt Porsche 991-II Cup qualified a commendable 5th, and even hit the front after a lightning start from Christopher Zochling (the Austrian’s 2m 03.225s time on lap four was unbeaten in-class). A right rear puncture heading into the second hour, however, dropped the #980 Porsche towards the tail of its class, and the team would be playing catch-up from then on.
 
Despite a hard-earned runners’-up spot though, all hope of a team podium lock-out disappeared early. Having already lost 35 minutes in the pits with collision damage inside the first two hours, the #979’s run (Olivier Baharian / Thierry Blaise / Manuel Nicolaidis / Michael Markussen) drew to a close after 16 hours with gearbox failure. The #989 meanwhile (Tamotsu Kondo / Kenji Abe / Motoharu Sato / Xu Wei / Naoki Yokomizo) fared slightly better by finishing 6th – two spots ahead of the #979 – but succumbed to rear suspension failure after 493 laps.
 
NKPP Racing’s enormous accident also benefitted Porsche Lorient Racing. The reigning 991 European Champions had endured a difficult run on its Hankook 24H DUBAI, with a 35-minute pit stop delaying the #911 Porsche 991-II Cup (Pascal Gibon / Lionel Amrouche / Frédéric Ancel) after just three hours and accident damage eliminating the sister #912 entry (Mathieu Pontais / Cyril Calmon / Eric Mouez / Remi Terrail) entirely after five. Bessem’s accident though ultimately left the door open for Porche Lorient Racing to start its title defence with a class podium. 
 
Heading into the night, Modena Motorsports (#916, Bertram Hornung / John Shen / Benny Simonsen / Philippe Descombes) – operated by the vastly experienced race:pro motorsporth – was well in contention for victory, and, after swapping the class lead intermittently with both Duel Racing and MSG / HRT Motorsport throughout the afternoon, had pulled a lap clear as the 11th hour ticked by. Shortly before sun-up unfortunately, a drive-less #916 Porsche had to be towed back to its garage, bringing out the event’s 15th Code 60 caution period. Repairs cost the team 17 laps, and while a strong charge thereafter meant Modena Motorsport managed to salvage 4th, but it was not the result the Hong Kong outfit – competing in its sixth consecutive Hankook 24H DUBAI – had hoped for. Ditto affiliates race:pro motorsport, which had secured its third consecutive 991-class pole position in Dubai two days before.     
 
Ironically, fellow contenders for victory early on – MSG / HRT Motorsport (#969, Holger Harmsen / Anton Lyubchenkov / Stefan Aust / Lucas Mauron) –finished one place further back in 5th, the German team losing almost an hour during the night repairing a broken belt and dropping even more time to a broken driveshaft. The sister Vintic & Shpuntic by HRT 991-II Cup meanwhile (#968, Andrey Mukovoz / Stanislav Sidoruk / Stepan Krumilov / Sergey Peregudov) fared even worse, the only Russian entry in the field wiping itself out of the race against the barriers at turn four after just 16 laps. Fortunately Stepan Krumilov walked away unscathed.
 
Rounding out the beleaguered 991 class was track-club (#999, Adam Balon / Adam Knight / Marcus Jewell / John Loggie), the British squad enduring a torrid race that started with a big accident during morning warm-up on Friday and continued with engine coolant issues. The plug was eventually pulled, but only after the car had spent four hours in the garage.
 
991 Top 3
  1. Duel Racing (#950, Porsche) – 574 laps
  2. MRS GT-Racing (#564, Porsche) – 564 laps
  3. Porsche Lorient Racing (#911, Porsche) – 561 laps 

991 Championship of the Continents Top 3 (after round 1)
 
  1. Duel Racing (#950, Porsche) – 30 points
  2. MRS GT-Racing (#564, Porsche) – 28 points
  3. Porsche Lorient Racing (#911, Porsche) – 26 points 
 
GT4 – Podium finalised on the line in dramatic finish
  Having already produced one of the closest fights for class victory throughout the 24-hour event, the GT4 class had two surprises in-store as the race ticked past the 22-hour mark.
 
The first shock concerned the final GT4 podium spots. Having fallen behind the charging MRS GT-Racing, but holding several laps over Sorg Rennsport, reigning GT4 European Champions QSR Racingschool (#454, Jimmy de Breucker / Rodrigue Gillion / Michiel Verhaeren / Nico Verdonck) was on course to begin its title defence with 2nd in-class after a largely faultless run. Staggeringly, however, and with just minutes of the 24-hour race to go, the Belgian Mercedes-AMG GT ground to a halt on-track, suggesting an empty fuel tank. Could the Sorg Rennsport BMW (#451, Olaf Meyer / Björn Simon / Fidel Leib / Stephan Epp / Simon Tibbett), which was now just over two minutes behind, leapfrog QSR Racingschool for 2nd in the dying seconds of the race?
 
Ultimately, yes. Having avoided being lapped by the race-winning Rik Breukers on his final tour, Olaf Meyer ran the lap of his life to overhaul Sorg Rennsport’s now sub-two minute lead to snatch 2nd in-class on the absolute final lap. An incredible grand stand finish.
 
The second shock meanwhile was the retirement of long-time class leader ERC Sport (#405, Katarina Kyvalova / Ryan Ratcliffe / Jon Minshaw / Gabriele Piana). The British-based Mercedes-AMG GT4, though shuffled down to 5th in-class during qualifying, had been a constant class podium contender from the second hour onwards, finally leapfrogging the trouble-struck Century Motorsport and Dragon Racing – we’ll come back to them – to hold a commanding lead just after quarter-distance. ERC’s error-free run though came to a painful end with just 90 minutes of the race left to run, reigning Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Gabriele Piana brining the Mercedes back to pit road with terminal damage to the rear diff. “We haven’t had a problem all race, and then…it’s just heart-breaking,” said a clearly dejected Ryan Ratcliffe, teammate Katarina Kyvalova explaining that “we’ll [be back] because we want to have revenge”.
 
An impressive climb through the field from 8th on the GT4 grid, and despite losing several minutes in the re-fuelling station early on, allowed MRS GT-Racing (#426, Franjo Kovac / Tomas Pekar / Fredrik Lestrup / Thomas Tekaat) to benefit and claim the team’s first GT4 class victory on its category debut in Dubai. It was also the third of five MRS GT-Racing entries to finish its race on the podium.
 
ERC Sport was far from the only class leaders to hit trouble though. Ciceley Motorsport (#462, Jordan Witt / Frank Bird / Derek Pierce / Ben Paliwoda), “over the moon” after claiming A2-class victory at the event in 2018 on its first foray into endurance racing, was side-lined early with ABS problems. Another was Optimum Motorsport (#432, Jack Butel / Lewis Proctor / Brent Millage / Russ Olivant), in Dubai seeking its fourth class win in eight years but whose race was curtailed by differential issues shortly before half distance – the repairs of which cost 17 laps – and on-track contact. The Ginetta G55 and the Mercedes finished 10th and 8th respectively. Finally, local team Dragon Racing (#488, Rob Barff / Saeed Al Mehairi / Phil Quaife / Josh Webster / Greg Caton) had held the class lead comfortably for several hours on its event return, and even managed to drive around persistent gear-shifter issues. The mechanical malady would get worse as the race progressed though, rear suspension failure finally bringing the Emirati team’s race to a close.
 
Further back in GT4, former class leaders Century Motorsport (#430, Mark Farmer / Dominic Paul / Jack Mitchell / Adrian Willmott), having recovered from suspension failure, took 4th at the flag, just ahead of 3Y Technology (#469, Gilles Vannelet / Enzo Guibbert / Nadir Zuhour / Ahmed AL Melaihi / Lars Viljoen), which survived an early on-track clash with the Sorg Rennsport BMW, and three spots ahead of the sister Century Motorsport M4 GT4 (#429, Nathan Freke / Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke / JM Littman / Thomas Canning), the latter a victim of wheel hub failure during the night. Not the end anybody had hoped for in, what could possibly be, JM Littman’s last race, the man himself suggested…
 
Fox Motorsport (#447, Jamie Stanley / Glenn Sherwood / Ben Clucas / Andrew Perry) – another former class leader, and having already been forced to rebuild the Audi after receiving a tap during free practice – finished a disconsolate 6th following a bizarre incident in which the right rear wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 fell off on-track after all five nuts failed within seconds of each other. The incident – caused by a broken toe link – left the wheel hub heavily damaged and destroyed all hope of the podium finish, but the British squad at least kept its 100 percent finishing streak in the 24H SERIES intact.
 
Also in trouble was RHC Jorgensen/Strom (#450, Daren Jorgensen / Gerard McLeod / Brett Strom / Danny van Dongen), the Hankook 24H COTA USA class winner losing more than seven hours in the pits after the American BMW M4 into the tyre barriers in the early going. An attempt to re-join after an extensive rebuild ultimately came to naught.
 
GT4 Top 3
 
  1. MRS GT-Racing (#426, BMW) – 552 laps
  2. Sorg Rennsport (#451, BMW) – 547 laps
  3. QSR Racingschool (#454, Mercedes-AMG) – 546 laps
 
GT4 Championship of the Continents Top 3 (after round 1)
 
  1. MRS GT-Racing (#426, BMW) – 30 points
  2. Sorg Rennsport (#451, BMW) – 28 points
  3. QSR Racingschool (#454, Mercedes-AMG) – 26 points 
 
*You can check out the TCE race story HERE, as well as the overall GT Championship of the Continents standings HERE. Full results from the 2019 Hankook 24H DUBAI are available HERE.


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