Julian Hanses confirms that “a loss of braking power” brought his second 24H SERIES start with QMMF by HRT Thuraya Qatar to a premature end at the 2023 Hankook 6H ABU DHABI.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
QMMF by HRT Thuraya Qatar was denied a well-earned 992-AM win at the 2023 Hankook 6H ABU DHABI due to a loss of braking, according to Julian Hanses.
The ADAC GT4 Germany frontrunner, who also competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany in 2021 with HRT Performance, made his 24H SERIES debut with the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation / HRT Performance collaboration at the Hankook 24H DUBAI. The German driver was then parachuted into the #929 Porsche 922 GT3 Cup for CREVENTIC’s six-hour event at the Yas Marina Circuit one week later, once again alongside Qatari teammates Abdulla Ali Al Khelaifi, Ghanim Al Maadheed, and Ibrahim Al Abdulghani.
“It was a very spontaneous assignment,” Hanses explains in an official statement. “After my assignment in Dubai, the team from Qatar was so satisfied with my performance that they invited me straight to the race in Abu Dhabi.”
The weekend started strongly for the #929 with Hanses setting the fastest lap time of any 992 runner – a 1m 57.625s – during his 15-minute qualifying session, banking 5th place in-class on the grid in the process for QMMF by HRT Thuraya Qatar. Though the German driver only contested the final stint of the six-hour endurance event, strong runs from Al Khelaifi, Al Abdulghani and Al Maadheed meant the #929 Porsche was the second highest-placed 992 runner at half-distance, just 20.6s shy of the class leader.
So close was the race for victory in 992, the #929 Porsche was still less than two minutes adrift of the class leader when Hanses began his one and only stint 70 minutes from home. The German driver again started strongly, posting the fastest 992 race lap of any competitor – a 1m 57.451s – just three laps into his run.
Hopes of an overall 992 podium and 992-Am class victory however came to naught with just 26 minutes left on the clock when the #929 Porsche was felled with braking issues. Though Hanses eventually returned to complete the final lap, the Porsche did so having dropped to 2nd in the 992-AM class, and 6th overall of the 992 runners.
“I had a loss of braking power and had to pit,” Hanses continues. “The crew fixed the car and we got back on-track for the final lap. Unfortunately the victory was lost, [and] in the end we finished 2nd in the amateur ranking. Apart from the defect, it was a good race. I would like to thank my teammates, the QMMF by HRT Thuraya team, and all partners for the trust and the opportunity to start here.”
Despite a disappointing end to an impressive effort in Abu Dhabi, the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation has expressed an interest in continuing its affiliation with HRT Performance during the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook European season. The first round – the Hankook 12H MUGELLO – will take place on 25-26 March at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.