AF Corse leads Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon at half distance, third for Bentley

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The second half gets underway .

Defending Gulf 12-Hours champions AF Corse have once again stamped their mark on the once round the clock enduro by finishing the first half of the race with a commanding 53.9 second lead over the number 3 Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon racing Mercedes AMG SLS. After starting from position five on the grid, Michele Rugolo battled during the early part of the race with Slamstop Motorsport by Alessandro Pierguidi in another Ferrari 458 GT3 until the number 15 Kessel car came into the pits to fix damaged bodywork at the rear.

M-Sport Bentley's Steven Kane got off to a great start in the new Continental GT3 after a superb qualifying which landed them on the second row of the grid.

P2 qualifiers, Kessel Racing #11 endured a frustrating session ending the six hours in fourth place behind Bentley, Black Falcon's number 3 car and AF Corse.

A safety car mid way through the first session as a result of car 95, the Avelon Formula CN class Wolf hitting the wall on the exit of turn 21 leading on to the front straight, saw the top four teams heading into the pits to take advantage of the yellow flag period. However it was AF Corse and Bentley who were quickest to respond which turned the tables on the race and made the Black Falcon Mercedes the chaser for the remainder of the session.

Further down the field, the GTX class saw a brilliant battle between the Nova Race cars 90 and 91 who were battling like it was a sprint event. The pair of Ginetta G50 GT4s were rubbing door handles for much of the earlier part of the race until car 90 was forced to take an extended pit stop.

At the end of the six hours it was Car 91 which lead the GTX class from the Yas Marina Circuit Aston Martin Vantage V8 GT4.

The CN category lost a few of its runners as BF Motorsport was an early casualty and was forced to retire while in GT3 the Dragon Racing Car #8 McLaren 12C GT3 suffered a blown gearbox early on and was also forced out.

Unfortunately for both, neither car was repairable and will not start the second half of the race. CN class leader at the end of the six hours was Avelon Formula in P15 from its sister Wolf GB08 in P16.

The second half gets underway in the order the cars finished however any gap in seconds that was built over the first six hours is wiped out to only mantain the gap in laps as the cars take starting orders under a fresh rolling start.

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About this article
Series ENDURANCE
Article type Race reports
Tags abu dhabi, endurance, rugolo