Dubai 24H: BMW race report

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First victory for BMW in 2011: Team Schubert wins with works driver Augusto Farfus in Dubai.

Dubai, 15th January 2011. BMW picked up its first victory in the very first big race of the new motor racing season. Need for Speed Team Schubert triumphed with the no. 76 BMW Z4 GT3 and drivers Claudia Hurtgen, BMW works driver Augusto Farfus, Edward Sandstrom and Tommy Milner at the 24-hour race in Dubai.

The sister car, number 77, with Bill Auberlen, Matt Plumb, Boris Said and Paul Dalla Lana at the wheel, completed the excellent team result with fifth place overall at the sixth staging of the desert marathon.

After 24 hours, the victorious BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the finish line with Hurtgen at the wheel and a three-lap lead over the second-placed Ferrari F430 GT2 of Team AF Corse. Third place went to the Black Falcon Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3. The JR Motorsport team also made it into the top 20, finishing 16th with a BMW M3 GTR.

"Everyone in the team gave everything -- and we were rewarded with the win today," commented Farfus. "This race is completely different to the Nurburgring 24 Hours, which I also won with Team BMW Motorsport in 2010. However, I must say: Dubai is very special. The atmosphere is fantastic and the drivers all support one another. I really, really enjoyed myself."

"Our tactics worked perfectly," added Schubert Team Manager Stefan Wendl. "At the start of the race we were able to develop a two-lap lead with car number 76, which we then had to maintain without putting too much strain on the material or taking any risks. Some fortunate circumstances meant we were able to pull even further ahead and ultimately wrap up the victory. That is our first big victory at a 24-hour race and a great reward for everyone in the team."

This was BMW's third overall victory at the 24-hour race at the "Dubai Autodrome". The Duller Motorsport team won the inaugural event with a BMW M3 CSL and repeated the feat a year later with the BMW Z4 M Coupe. Current BMW works driver Dirk Werner (DE) was also involved in this success as a driver. The third victory means that BMW now is the most successful manufacturer in the history of this endurance race.

This latest success has once again proven just how competitive the BMW Z4 GT3 is. The car, which has been in the BMW Customer Racing range since 2010, celebrated victories in the FIA GT3 European Championship in its first year. Powered by a 4.4-litre, V8 engine, this racing car has also impressed on more than one occasion on the endurance circuit, and it has now sealed its first overall victory at a 24-hour race in Dubai.

-source: bms

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