Two-Time Winners Leading Dunlop Dubai 24 Hours Race After Six Hours
After six hours of racing two-time winner #1 Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon 1 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 leads the 2014 Dunlop Dubai 24-hour race.
The A6-Pro-class Black Falcon Mercedes, piloted at the moment by Jeroen Bleekemolen, has a 46-second lead over the second-placed #4 Fach Auto Tech Porsche 997 GT3 R driven by Martin Ragginger. A further 26 seconds back is the #38 All-Inkl Münnich Motors Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Marc Basseng.
A little over half a lap back is Adam Christodoulou’s #2 Black Falcon 2 Mercedes SLS and a further half-lap back is Dane Cameron’s #76 SX Team Schubert BMW Z4.
With 18 hours of racing left, ten of it in the dark, any of these cars has a decent shot at the overall win, but odds have to favor the two-time winners.
The first few hours of the race were an all-out sprint. Bleekemolen grabbed the lead oat the start, but was penalized for passing before crossing the start-finish line. The lead changed hands a dozen times with eight different cars holding it, but the Abu Dhabi Black Falcon Mercedes led the majority, with the All-Inkl Mercedes, the Schubert BMW, and the Fach Porsche leading half-a-dozen or a dozen laps, mostly dictated by pit strategy and Code 60s.
The first few hours were trouble-free despite the pace, but once night fell, longer Code 60s (Dubai 24’s version of a caution period) began piling up—six Code 60s for a total of 21 laps (two hours) in the first six hours of racing.
Rob Barff in the #88 Dragon Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 leads in A6-Am, six laps down. Vladimir Lunkin’s 997-class #44 Black Falcon Porsche 997 Cup leads the 997 class, seven laps behind the leader.
The #123 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 370Z driven by Miguel Faisca leads SP2, 17 laps down, while the #62 JR Motorsport BMW E46 GTR of Harry Hilders leads A5, two more laps behind.
Roberto Gentili leads SP3 in the #154 Nova Race Ginetta G50, 124 laps back.
Junichi Umemoto in the Lap57 Racing Team Honda Coupe leads A2, having completed 122 laps, 22 behind the leader; half a lap behind Umemoto, Josh Caygillin the #127 KPM Racing Volkswagen Golf TDI MK 6 leads class D1.