Muscat – Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair and his Getspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo teammates had to retire while going strong in second place after 15 hours of the 19th Hankook 24H Dubai because of fuel pump and transmission issues.
“Leading into the race, we had a great strategy and the car felt quite good. The Audis were fast but, I think with our strategy of having the pros drive the last six hours, we had an advantage in the pocket. But, unfortunately, with nine hours to go, we got a fuel pump issue and a gearbox failure as well. We weren’t able to continue the race while running in P2. Honestly, we had a good chance for the win this year. That’s racing. This will make victory at a future Dubai 24 feel even better,” said al Zubair, who had Germany’s Fabian Schiller, American racer Anthony Bartone and Austria’s Dominik Baumann and Martin Konrad as teammates.
Victory, after 603 laps, fell to the Eastalent Racing Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II, crewed by Christopher Haase, Simon Reicher, Markus Winkelhock, Mike Zhou and Gilles Magnus. Sven Müller brought the Proton Huber Competition Porsche 911 home in second place and Jack Barlow pushed the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 onto the bottom step of the podium.
The Getspeed crew started the race strongly and led through the first hour mark after 29 laps. Al Zubair was in the hot seat in third behind the Proton Huber Competition and MRS GT-Racing Porsche 911s with the race approaching the two-hour mark. The Omani then pitted for fuel and slipped to fourth.
The team climbed to second place behind the Eastalent Racing Audi after four hours and ran in third for the next two hours.
After seven hours, and with Schiller at the wheel, the Getspeed car was running in fifth place behind the three Eastalent Racing, HAAS RT and Attempto Racing Audis and the Herberth Motorsport Porsche. The car moved up to second place behind the eventual winners after nine hours and held that position for three hours before slipping back to third. But they had regained second place at the 14-hour mark.
Sadly, the dream of winning the race ended when Baumann suffered technical issues and was forced to pit the Getspeed Mercedes after 360 laps.