7TSIX secures podium on maiden 24-hour outing; confirms Abu Dhabi entry

News | January 18, 2023

Despite mechanical woes, Britain’s 7TSIX takes 3rd in-class at the 2023 Hankook 24H DUBAI, its maiden 24-hour motor race.


Words – James Gent

Images – Petr Frýba Photography / Racing Pixels / 7TSIX

7TSIX has praised “a huge team effort” by its crew and drivers for a podium finish on its maiden 24-hour race outing, despite mechanical issues ending the British team’s race early. 


Yorkshire-based 7TSIX qualified an impressive 14th overall and on GT3-AM pole position, Intercontinental GT-Open frontrunner Fran Rueda – who contested the event alongside James Cottingham, Andrew Gilbert and Matúš Výboh – having set the 4th fastest time during his 15-minute qualifying session. 


“It has been an incredible experience, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” explains team owner Joe Edge. “Not even a year since we set up 7TSIX, and [this past weekend] we competed in our first 24-hour endurance event, taking pole position and taking the fight to much more experienced and well-established competition.”

Avoiding trouble in the opening stages, the sole McLaren 720S GT3 in the field retained its GT3-AM lead, lapping in or around the top 15. Just half an hour in however, Cottingham’s stint came to a premature end when the McLaren pitted, a damper mount having popped out on the right front. A rapid eight-minute pit stop though meant Cottingham returned to the track in 49th place. 


Rapid progress thereafter meant the McLaren had managed to climb back through field to 13th overall, just five laps behind GT3-AM leader CP Racing, when more technical issues struck. Six hours from home, the McLaren was retired after suffering turbocharger failure. 


Having completed 455 laps of the Dubai Autodrome, compared with 614 for class winner CP Racing, meant 7TSIX was still classified 3rd in GT3-AM behind the Saalocin by Kox Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“We were really unlucky with the early setback, but the effort and determination showed by the pitcrew to turn the car around and have it back out on track so quickly was absolutely unbelievable,” Edge continues. “The drivers as well, were great in every session, and really impressed – especially when you remember that James and Matúš have never raced the McLaren, and they were on a grid of more than 50 cars in different classes. The end result doesn’t do justice to the efforts of the whole crew, and it was a great way to kick off the new season.”


After a rewarding albeit difficult Hankook 24H DUBAI, 7TSIX has also confirmed it will enter this weekend’s Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, though the driver line-up has not yet been finalized.

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