Kessel Racing win the 5th Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit

Kessel Racing took overall victory with the #11 Ferrari driven by Michal Broniszewski, Giancomo Piccini and Davide Rigon

After a dramatic finish of the 5th edition of the Gulf 12 Hours, Kessel Racing took overall victory with the #11 Ferrari driven by Michal Broniszewski, Giancomo Piccini and Davide Rigon at Yas Marina Circuit with 301 completed laps. The Black Falcon #2 (Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman) came home in second place with a gap of 24 seconds with Oman Racing Team in the Aston Martin #44 (Darren Turner, Ahmad Al Harthy, Johnny Adam) finishing in third on their debut on this circuit.

With only eight minutes remaining of the second part of the 12-hours, the race was red-flagged due to a severe accident involving both Ferraris of Kessel Racing (#99) and Black Pearl Racing by Rinaldi (#38), spinning on oil coming out of the exit of Turn 3. “I saw the Ferrari of Black Pearl spinning in front of me and I had a big moment unable to avoid him”, said Michael Lyons of the #99. “We are glad that we are both ok since the cars are heavily damaged, but it is a crazy end to the race.”

We have had a really tight race this morning and it is great to carry all the hard work into a win,

Davide Rigon

From the start to the final six hours of the Gulf 12 Hours, Kessel Racing had a great fight with both Black Falcon Mercedes SLS. The Mercedes-squad were at some point running in a nice one-two. However, a technical issue on the Abu Dhabi Racing #1 of Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Maro Engel forced the car for a pit-stop, losing ten laps in total. They received a 10-seconds-penalty for not respecting track limits in addition, meaning position seven in the end.

Another Ferrari win the PRO-AM class

Victory in PRO-AM went to the #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia with Jack Gerber, Marco Cioci and Ilya Meinikov behind the wheel. “It is the first time for me doing this race so the win is something very special”, said Jack Gerber. “The fact that we actually had a fairly destroyed car after yesterday, it is incredibly satisfying to finish the race meeting on such a high, as we did not expect to be here.”

Despite the accident at the end of the race, the #99 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Vadim Gitlin, Michael Lyons and Marco Zanuttini still took first position in Gentlemen class, securing second victory for the Swiss Racing Team.

CUP class

In CUP class, MRS GT-Racing controlled the field from start to finish, having taken pole position to set the perfect conditions for a good race. The Americans Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub, who premiered at Yas Marina Circuit, took victory together with Dutch team-mate Xavier Maassen in the #20 Porsche GT3 991 Cup, finishing in ninth overall after having remained in the Top-10 solidly throughout.

But the glory of the day goes to Kessel Racing for putting in an outstanding performance across all 12 hours of the race. “We have had a really tight race this morning and it is great to carry all the hard work into a win”, said Davide Rigon. “We were lucky, because I saw the other car crashing and I tried to avoid it. It was the right choice to stop the race even so it is a shame to end it like that, because we really enjoyed ourselves today. Big thanks to Kessel Racing and my team-mates for doing a great.”

Kessel Racing

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About this article
Series Endurance
Event Gulf 12 Hours
Sub-event Friday race 2
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Darren Turner , Davide Rigon , Charles Putman , Yelmer Buurman , Maro Engel , Michael Lyons
Teams Kessel Racing
Article type Race report