Though victory was ultimately not to be for Inception Racing by Optimum at either the Hankook 24H DUBAI and Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, laps led at both, a top 10 finish overall in Dubai and a class podium in Abu Dhabi nevertheless marks a “really promising” run for the McLaren 720S GT3 on the McLaren 720S GT3’s maiden 24H SERIES weekends.
British team Inception Racing by Optimum has celebrated a “really promising” run at last weekend’s Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, despite a fuel leak preventing the #72 McLaren 720S GT3 from fighting for the overall win.
In a surprisingly close qualifying session on CREVENTIC’s second official endurance event at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Inception Racing by Optimum sealed outright pole position for the inaugural Hankook 6H ABU DHABI by the narrowest of margins, Ollie Millroy’s 2m 09.008s besting the 2m 09.145s set by Attempto Racing’s Markus Winkelhock by just one-tenth. Though jumped during the opening stint by the Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3, the McLaren remained well in contention for victory during the early going and even led outright after the opening round of pit stops. Sadly a fuel leak ended up costing the British team more than two hours in the pits.
Despite this, upon its return to the track, the McLaren, again driven by Millroy, went on to set the event’s fastest lap – a 2m 10.145s – and complete enough laps to be classified 3rd in the GT class. This, plus a 10th place finish at the Hankook 24H DUBAI one week earlier (albeit one marred with lengthy suspension repairs), marked a solid if luckless Middle East sojourn for Inception Racing by Optimum.
“We always really enjoy racing at this amazing facility at Yas Marina,” explained team principal Shaun Goff. “Brendan [Iribe] and Ollie [Millroy] were super-fast and having secured the pole position, it was looking really promising. We started with Brendan, he put in a great stint, and we then boxed him under the first Code 60 to optimise the strategy which soon enough propelled us into the race lead.
“We went through the driver changes, but we were very unfortunate to pick up a fuel leak on the third stop, which really hampered us in terms of pushing for the race win. But we’re happy with the pole, fastest lap and P3 in the GT class. The team and both drivers did a great job all weekend long, so onto the next one.”
The third event of the 2021 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, the Hankook 12H MUGELLO, takes place on 26-27 March, and marks the seventh time in eight years that the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello has featured prominently on CREVENTIC’s European calendar. One month later, 24H SERIES competitors travel to the famed Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the Hankook 12H SPA on 23-24-25 April.