Looking to pursue its endurance GT3 program, could 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner GPX Racing be gearing up for its return to the event on 13-14-15 January?
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI winner GPX Racing could be eying a return to the event for 2023 as part of the team’s “next steps on [its] programme in Endurance GT3.”
The team, based in the United Arab Emirates, took a commanding win at its home event in 2021 with Julien Andlauer, Alain Ferté, Mathieu Jaminet, Axcil Jefferies and team owner Frédéric Fatien, the Porsche 911 GT3 R leading all but 78 of the completed laps en-route to a one-lap win over runner-up WRT. In doing so, Ferté became only the ninth driver in 16 editions to take more than one outright win at the event, an achievement Jefferies emulated in 2022 with Saudi Arabia’s MS7 by WRT.
The 2021 win also marked the best result to-date for GPX Racing since its event debut in 2013, besting the 9th place overall Fatien, Tiziano Carugati, Nicky Pastorelli, Stuart Hall and ‘GP Extreme’ managed with the tenured Renaultsport R.S.01 in 2017. It was also the second triumph in as many outings for GPX Racing in the 24H SERIES, Fatien, Jaminet and Jordon Grogor having also taken the Porsche to the team’s first outright series win three months earlier at the inaugural COPPA FLORIO 12H SICILY. Other commitments meant the GPX Racing was unable to compete at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2022.
“We followed our plan to the letter during the week,” team principal Pierre-Brice Mena explained following GPX’s recent outing at the 24 Hours of Spa. “Despite practice sessions perturbed by several red flags, we found performance pretty quickly. The drivers and the technical team were in a serene frame of mind before the race. We used an off-beat strategy that gave us a slight advantage compared to the other favourites; it helped us seize certain opportunities. We were running between second and fourth places until the engine suddenly let go.
“Now, we’re going to work on the next steps on our programme in Endurance GT3, which will be a mix of circuits we know and new experiences.”
While next year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI is under consideration as a “familiar circuit,” GPX Racing has also highlighted “the discovery of motor racing American style at the 24 Hours of Daytona” as a possibility.
Alongside a potential entry from GPX Racing, fellow former Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Herberth Motorsport has also registered an interest for the 13-14-15 January event, as has HRT, the eponymous team of three-time winner Hubert Haupt and last year’s GT3-AM class winner
Similarly, BBR, Wolf-Power Racing and AC Motorsport – the event’s overall TCE winners in 2022, 2021 (together with Autorama Motorsport) and 2020 respectively – have also registered an interest.