On the same weekend, PK Carsport took its second category win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, the Audi R8 LMS GT2 was victorious on its maiden 24H SERIES outing.
PK Carsport has taken its second consecutive class win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in the GTX class on the 24H SERIES debut for the GT2-spec Audi R8 LMS.
The Belgian team last year competed at the 24H SERIES season opener with a BMW M2 CS Racing, collecting TCX class victory at the Dubai Autodrome on its series debut. For the 2022 event, PK Carsport confirmed it was entering the GT division with a GT2-example of Audi’s R8, the most powerful track-going R8 to-date that was developed primarily for gentlemen drivers, and slotted between Ingolstadt’s top tier GT3 and mid-card GT4 upon its launch in 2019.
During CREVENTIC’s newly revised qualifying, the GT2 Audi qualified just 0.087s shy of GTX class polesitter Leipert Motorsport, and during the opening stages, the #704 R8 ran consistently in the top three in class, rarely more than a minute behind category leader Leipert Motorsport.
Come the fifth hour, PK Carsport had moved into the GTX lead – albeit by just three-tenths of a second over Leipert – with a mixture of strategic pitwork and consistent pace expanding the team’s advantage to over a lap one hour later. The gap continues to increase over the final 19 hours of the 24-hour race.
But while Leipert’s #710 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo would lose time to a fuel pressure problem (a notable instance saw the gap between 1st and 2nd in-class more than double from 12 laps to 26 laps with only two hours of the race left to go), PK Carsport’s Audi suffered only “teething problems” en-route to victory.
“Of course there are always some question marks at a first endurance race ever for a new car,” Bert Longin explains in an official team statement. “But we have tackled all teething problems in an appropriate way, and we have always been able to continue driving. That sounds simple, but it isn't at all. I can assure you that.
“A first endurance victory for the Audi R8 LMS GT2: we can add another first to our list of achievements. The entire PK Carsport team has done an excellent job, and the people at Audi Sport are also delighted with what their car has been able to show. That is also not unimportant.”
As in 2021, Belgian compatriots Peter Guelinckx, Bert and Stienes Longin, and Stijn Lowette piloted PK Carsport’s entry to victory road. Guelinckx, and the Longin father-and-son duo also contested the GT division’s first, second and third 15-minute qualifying sessions.
Though PK Carsport has yet to confirm any further 24H SERIES entries in 2022, the Belgian team has shown an interest in competing in the inaugural Prototype Cup Germany, CREVENTIC’s new collaborative series with ADAC dedicated to LMP3 and CN sports cars.
- Images – PK Carsport