Just seconds after the halfway point of the 2013 Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, the race-leading #16 AF Corse SRL Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 driven by Lorenzo Case tried to squeeze inside the lapped #14 De Lorenzi Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, bounced off a curb and spun himself and the other car, allowing Claudia Hürtgen in the #24 Saudi Falcon Schubert BMW Z4.
On the next circuit, Case fought his way up to and then past Hürtgen for the 23rd lead change of the race.
Case had taken the lead as the Schubert BMW and #1 Abu Dhabi Black Falcon Mercedes pitted. After the tenth Code Sixty of the race, action resumed 20 minutes before the twelve –hour mark.
Hürtgen pushed hard to catch the flying Ferrari, and managed to make the pass, but after seeing she was not able to pull away, the German driver backed off, content to hold onto second—after all, she faced another 12 hours of racing, and as the adage goes, to finish first, you must first finish.
After her stint Hürtgen said that after thirty minutes the car felt like driving on ice.
Hürtgen said she had to smile, seeing some of the lines the Ferrari driver was taking though some corners. “I think for a 24-hour race that is not my driving style,” she told Radio Le Mans. “I decided to relax—we have eleven-and-a-half hours left to do.”
Sean Edwards in the #1 Black Falcon Mercedes was a lap down, with his team mate Steve Jans in the #2 Mercedes another lap down in fourth. In fifth, Daryl O’Young in the #15 Craft Racing Aston Martine Vantage was two laps behind Jans.
Martin Ragginger in the #8 A6-Am Fach Auto Tech Porsche 997 GT3 R led the A6 Am class, followed by the #19 A6 Pro JLOC Lamborghini of Manabu Orido and Adam Christodoulou in the #17 Lapidus Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT3—seven different makes in the top eight cars.
The #20 Stadler Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 R piloted by Rolf Ineichen lost a dozen minutes changing a water hose, dropping the car to 11th.
Longest Code Sixty
The Code Sixty at eleven hours, five minutes was the longest of the race so far. The initial cause was contact between the #30 Ram Racing Ferrari with Guy Smith at the wheel, and the tube-framed SP3 #144 GC Automobile GC10-V6 driven by Gilles Courtois entering Turn One.
According to Smith, it was “a strange accident.”
“As I was heading to Turn One and went to for the throttle, all the cars in front of me checked up,” Smith told Radio Le Mans. “I kind of jinked right to avoid them, and the guy behind me came around and hit me.”
The left rear and right front of the Ferrari were heavily damaged, and the entire back half of the GC Auto was destroyed.
Simultaneously, the #88 Dragon Racing Ferrari came to a halt at the end of the front straight, its power steering unit leaking fluid and smoking. Also the #75 BMW wrecked independently at the same time. None of the drivers were injured.
The wrecks scattered debris all across the length of the front straight, which took 36 minutes to clear.
The race proceeded for another fifty minutes, when a A collision between Thomas Raldolf in the 997-class #51 LV Motorsport Porsche 997 Cup and Philipp Eng in the #10 A6-Pro MRS GT-Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT310 brought out the twelfth Code Sixty of the Event.
Update: 13 Hours Gone
After the Code Sixty ended, Marco Cioci in the A6 Pro #16 AF Corse SRL Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 took the lead from Sean Edwards, who took over when the leaders pitted, for a total of 25 lead changes in 13 hours of racing.
Bernd Schneider in the #1 Black Falcon Merceds was second, a lap down, followed by Abdulaziz AIFaisal in the #24 Schubert BMW ran third, yet another lap down.
Morgan Jones led the A6 Am in the #24 Preci-Spark Mercedes, ninth overall.
The lead in SP2 changed, as Max Braams in the #98 Equipe Verschuur Renault Megane Trophy, 14th place, took over the class lead from the #126 Bonk Motorsport Corvette.
Trevor Knight in the #148 Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora continued to lead SP3, eight laps ahead of the #145 Barwell Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage driven by Chris Hyman.
In 997, Francois Glenmor in the #41 Crubile Sport Porsche 997 Cup in 18th place led the #63 B2F Compétition Porsche of Bruno Fretin by just over a minute.
Henry Hilders in the #77 JR motorsport BMW E46 GTR led the A5 class by several laps.
In 35th overall, Ralf Eisenreich in the Besaplast Racing Mini Cooper S led A2 by six laps.
The Racing Divas held onto the A3T lead in the #121 BMW 320D. Sandra van der Sloot was behind the wheel at the top of the hour.
Finally, Kane Astin in the D1 Red Camel-Jordans.nl Seat Leon 2.0 Tdi led his class by a dozen laps.
No need to miss any of the action: the race is streamed live at 24hDubai.com.
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