Ferrari teams lock out front row for seventh Dunlop 24H DUBAI
Ferrari teams locked out the front row of the starting grid for the seventh running of the Dunlop 24H DUBAI that gets underway at the Dubai Autodrome tomorrow at 14.00 h local time. In the dying minutes of qualifying on Thursday afternoon, British driver Rob Barff posted a fastest lap time of 2:02.092 minutes, which was enough to put the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 car of the UAE-based AUH Motorsport/FF Corse team with starting number 12 in pole position for this year’s race. Barff is sharing the car with UAE-based South-Africans Leon Price and Jordan Grogor and Brit Charlie Hollings. Second place on the grid was taken by the number 2-Ferrari of the Italian AF Corse team, driven by Jack Gerber, Matt Griffin, Marco Cioci and Niki Cadei.
|Pole sitting Ferrari|
“We opted for a split strategy. We didn’t take part in the first qualifying session and decided to concentrate all our efforts on the second heat instead”, said Rob Barff after his pole-winning qualifying effort. “It is very pleasing to be on pole in such a top-class field. I rather start the race from there than somewhere in the middle of the pack!”
Behind the two Ferraris, the JRM Nissan-Nissan GT-R GT3 (Michael Krumm/Alex Buncombe/Tom Kimber-Smith/Franck Mailleux) qualified third, followed by the fastest of the two United Autosports Audi R8 LMS with Enzo Potolicchio, Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel in fourth place. The third grid row is being shared by last year’s pole-sitters, the Reiter Engineering-Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 (Nico Pronk, Peter Kox, Bernhard Müller, Dennis Retera) and the MRS GT Racing-Porsche 997 GT3-R (Erwin Stückle, Philipp Eng, William Langhorne, Klaus-Dieter Frers). With another Audi, two more Lamborghinis and a BMW Z4 rounding out the top ten, there are six car brands on the first five rows of the starting grid.
Fastest team in the SP2 class was the GT3 Racing Team’s Dodge Viper (starting number 101) with Craig Wilkins, Andy Ruhan, Leigh Smart and Aaron Scott. In the SP3 class, there was a nice last-minute gasp that eventually saw the Marcos Racing Lotus Evora (starting number 126, Hal Prewitt, Alistair MacKinnon, Richard Verburg, Simon Atkins, Cor Euser) just beat the RJN Motorsport-Nissan 370Z (starting number 120, Tetsuya Tanaka, Humaid Al Masaood, Bryan Heitkotter, Jann Mardenborough, Richard Meaden) that had been fastest in its category for most of qualifying.
In the A5 class, Dutch team JR Motorsport posted the fastest time with Bert van der Zweerde, Harry Hilders, Marco Poland and Pieter van Soelen as the drivers of its number 54-BMW M3 E46 GTR. The number 80-Besaplast Racing Team BMW MINI with Franjo Kovac, Martin Tschornia, Cora Schumacher, Fredrik Lestrup and Reinhard Nehls was the fastest team in qualifying for the A2 category while the team’s success was completed by pole position in the 997 class for Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars for Franjo Kovac, Martin Tschornia, Roland and Sebastian Asch and Stephanie Halm.
The race is being covered on Motors TV and Radio Le Mans. Live timing, live streaming and news can also be found at live.24hseries.com