Optimum Motorsport won the second of the three races during the Hankook 3x3H DUBAI with its Ginetta G57 (#54, Adrian Barwick/Bradley Ellis/Kyle Masson/James French). In the three-hour race on Wednesday morning, the team’s drivers held off the Kox Racing Ligier JS P3 (#48, Peter Kox/Nico Pronk that won the P3 class. In race three, partly held in the darkness to add another element of the fascination of endurance racing, Graff Racing repeated its victory from the previous day with its Ligier JS P3 (#12, Eric Trouillet/Franck Matelli/Edward Lewis Brauner) while Kox Racing scored its third second place overall from as many races. CN class honours went to the #85 Krafft Racing Norma M20 FC (François Kirmann/Daniel Kirmann/Jean-Charles Perrin) in the first race of the day while locally-based team AUH Motorsports with its Radical SR3 RSX (#81, Konstantin Gukkaev/Tarek Elgammal) crowned a strong performance throughout the event with a popular class win in the final race.
Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G57 wins race two
An early pace-setter in yesterday’s first race, only to retire early, the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G57 (#54, Adrian Barwick/Bradley Ellis/Kyle Masson/James French) finally came good in the second race. In the presence of Dr. Mohammed Bin Sulayem, FIA vice president and president of the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE), Bradley Ellis drove the closed-top prototype across the finish line at the end of the three-hour race to claim the outright win and G57 class honours. In spite of a drive-through penalty early in the race following a pit lane exit infringement, Ellis and his team-mates racked up a total of 82 laps. At the flag, the Ginetta team was 28.629 seconds clear of the Kox Racing Ligier JS P3 (#48, Peter Kox/Nico Pronk). Like in yesterday’s race, the Kox Racing team finished second overall, but this time, the outfit came out on top in the P3 class. Third place overall went to another Ginetta team, CWS (#55, Colin White/Brandon Gdovic/Jason Coupal).
CN class honours went to the #85 Krafft Racing Norma M20 FC (François Kirmann/Daniel Kirmann/Jean-Charles Perrin), that finished fifth overall after even having led the race outright for a total of 20 laps. The race saw three code 60 neutralisations. The first one was called a little over one hour following the retirement of the #46 Avelon Formula Wolf GB08 CN (Amro Al Hamad/Nick Adcock/Ivan Bellarosa/Guglielmo Belotti). At the end of the second hour, there were two neutralisations quickly after each other, the first one after the #56 Atech-DXB Ginetta G57 (Julian Griffin/Oliver Smith/Rik Breukers) had spun on the main straight and got stuck on track and the second one to allow for the #51 Century Motorsport Ginetta (Euan McKay/Daniel McKay) to be recovered.
Graff Racing makes it two out of three
Ginetta G57s dominated proceedings out in front for the first half of the race, with the Optimum Motorsport (#54, Adrian Barwick/Bradley Ellis/Kyle Masson/James French), Simpson Motorsport (#50, Philippe Haezebrouk/Bessam Kronfli) and Graff (#57, Lawrence Tomlinson/Mike Simpson/Jordan Sanders) entries all taking turns in the lead. In the second half of the race, the Graff Racing Ligier JS P3 (#12, Eric Trouillet/Franck Matelli/Edward Lewis Brauner) and the Century Motorsports Ginetta (#51, Euan McKay/Daniel McKay) emerged as the main contenders. A charging Peter Kox moved the Kox Racing Ligier (#48, Peter Kox/Nico Pronk) up into second place in the final 15 minutes ahead of the Century Ginetta, but in spite of consistently posting faster lap times than Matelli in the Graff Ligier, there was too little time left for Kox to mount a challenge. Thus, Graff Racing scored its second win of the event, with Kox Racing completing the 1-2 for Ligier, 54.810 seconds down on the winners. Eventually, it was the Graff Ginetta (#57, Lawrence Tomlinson/Mike Simpson/Jordan Sanders) that came out on top in the G57 class and in third overall to complete the success for the French team.
The only code 60 neutralisation came seven minutes into the race due to a collision by the GDL Racing Team Asia Radical SR3 RSX (#80, Lim Keong Liam/Nigel Farmer/Bruce Lee) and the Krafft Racing Norma M20 FC (#85, François Kirmann/Daniel Kirmann/Jean-Charles Perrin). Both cars retired, which considerably reduced the CN class. There was further CN heartbreak when the Avelon Formula Wolf GB08 CN (#46, Amro Al Hamad/Nick Adcock/Ivan Bellarosa/Guglielmo Belotti) retired from the class lead with a technical issue. That handed the class lead to locally-based team AUH Motorsports with its Radical SR3 RSX (#81, Konstantin Gukkaev/Tarek Elgammal) that crowned a strong performance throughout the event with three podium finishes from as many races with a popular class win. IDEC Sport Racing’s Ligier JS53 Evo2 (#17, Frédérique Da Rocha/Nicolas Da Rocha/David Abramczik/Roman Vozniak) ended up second in class.
24H PROTO SERIES powered by Hankook with four 12h races for prototypes
Following the success of the inaugural Hankook 3x3H DUBAI, prototype action under the CREVENTIC banner will continue with this year’s 24H PROTO SERIES powered by Hankook. The former Grand Prix circuit of Magny-Cours in the French Burgundy region will host the season opener, the Hankook 12H MAGNY-COURS (21-22 April). Next up is the Hankook 12H MISANO (6-8 July) at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Italian Adriatic coast, followed by the Hankook 12H PAUL RICARD (18-19 August) at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet in the south of France. The legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes will be the venue for the season finale, the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (6-8 October). For next year, the plan is to have a twelve-hour race for prototypes at Dubai Autodrome on the weekend prior to the Hankook 24H DUBAI, which is scheduled from 11-13 January, 2018. Further information can be found at: www.24hprotoseries.com