Dubai 24: Last Six Hours
The drama which marked the first 13 hours of the 2014 Creventix Dunlop Dbai 24 endurance race continued through the next five hours.
One after another, cars fought their way into the lead, only to be struck down by collisions or mechanical failure.
The #4 Fachs Auto Tech Porsche held a solid lead after 13 hours of racing, and maintained that lead until the 17:30 mark, when one of its driveshafts packed up, sending the car to the garages.
The #76 Schubert BMW got smacked by a slower car with nine and a half hours left, breaking the suspension, sidelining the 2011 winner.
The #20 Stadler Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 R inherited the lead when the Fachs Porsche broke.
The #38 All-Inkl.Com Mercedes Benz moved into second as the cars ahead fell to the wayside.
The #2 Black Falcon BMW worked its way into third, by avoiding both mechanical failure and other cars, while the #21 V8 Racing Corvette C6-R ended up in fourth with the same strategy.
Fifth overall and first in the A6-Am class was the GDL Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, six laps behind the leader and eight laps ahead of the next car in class.
The #1 Abu Dhabi Black Falcon BMW, defending 2012 and 2013 champion, rose through the ranks to 14th after its electrical problems were sorted out
The Stadler Porsche, with its roster of unknown drivers, put in a long string of respectable laps to maintain a two-lap lead over the All-Inkl Mercedes, which had two laps on the Black Falcon Mercedes, but Rob Huff in the All-Inkl car started to turn up the heat towards the end of his stint.
The All-Inkl lineup of René Münnich, Marc Basseng, Rob Huff definitely has the potential to be faster than the Stadler crew of Mark Ineichen, Rolf Ineichen, Marcel Matter, Adrian Amstutz, Christian Engelhart, but as the race has proved, speed is only one ingredient.
With five-and-a-half hours left in the race, any of the top ten could end up winning. Besides the attrition, the weather might throw a wrench into the works: the day is overcast, and rain is predicted for the final hours of the race.
So far the Dunlop Dubai 24 has offered hard racing, drama, surprises, underdogs getting chances to upset the big guns and favorites working hard to overcome adversity—and there is still an entire endurance race left to run.