BMW, Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz in a close battle at Dunlop 24H of Dubai
DUBAI (January 14th, 2011) Nine hours into the Dunlop 24H of Dubai, the number 76-Need for Speed-Schubert BMW Z4 with Augusto Farfus, Edward Sandstrom, Tommy Milner and Claudia Hurtgen is leading with an advantage of one lap over the number 1-Gianluca de Lorenzi Racing Porsche of Gianluca de Lorenzi, Stefano Borghi, Dario Paletto and Martin Ragginger. Third place was held for the best part of the ninth hour by the number 7-Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG with Thomas Jager, Kenneth Heyer, Jan Seyffarth and Sean Paul Breslin, but an out-of-sequence pit stop put that car back into sixth place, favouring the Saudi Falcons-Porsche (Binladen/Al Faisal/Faulkner/Vergers), the Fach Auto Team-Porsche (Lusser/Dolenc/Arnold/Gruber/Bruder) and the AF Corse Ferrari (Perazini/Bronisewski/Case/Cioci), who are in third to fifth place after nine hours.
There was another "code 60" just after the two-hour mark due to debris on the track, one more after four and a half hours and one after eight and a half hours, both due to cars that were stuck on the track at unsafe places. At 22.45 h local time (19.45 h CET), there was another "code 60".For the rest, there were no major incidents, but as it is the norm in endurance racing, many teams had th eir fair share of trouble. The Blancpain-Reiter Engineering Lamborghini that led the race for most of the first hour officially retired due to engine failure and both the number 43-Land Motorsport Porsche (Tilke/Munnich/Lauck/Land) and the number 18-Tolimit Arabia Porsche (Al Qubaisi/Maassen/J. Bleekemolen/Edwards), that were in the top three for a long time, lost considerable time in the pits due to technical problems. The number 8-Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG (Schall/Pappas/Curtis/Horn) also lost a lot of time in the pits following a collision: Schall couldn't avoid hitting the number 2-Gravity Mosler (Radermecker/de Sordi/Lux/Lopez/Enge) after the latter car had spun and stalled on the track. The third Mercedes-Benz in the race, the number 9- Heico Motorsport car (Schneider/Bosi/Arnold/Frankenhout/Wirth) is back in the top eight again after losing some time due to a fuel pick-up problem. The Liqui Moly Team Engstler-BMW Z4 (Engstler/Poulsen/F.Spengler/Kraihammer) is making its way back up again following a broken driveshaft.
No major position changes in the other categories: Bovi Motorsport's Brokernet Silversting (Bodis/Kaufmann/Racz/van Lagen/Konopka) is leading in class SP2, the second De Lorenzi Racing-Porsche (Formili Fendi/Parato/Piodi/Mastronardi) is leading the Porsche 997 class, the Valspar Donkervoort (De Bruijn/Donkervoort/ Winterberger) is on top in SP3, JR Motorsport's BMW E46 GTR remains first in A3T (Van den Bos/Van der Zweer/De Vries/Hilders/Poland), the Kueperracing BMW M3 (Kupper/Crow/Miller/Alber) is leading in A4, the Auto Sport GP team's Renault Clio Cup (Mulot/Grifnee/Vericel) is first in A2 and the Volkswagen Racing Austria's Volkswagen Golf TDI (Pranger/Waldherr/"Tessitore"/Beisel) is leading in the D1 diesel class.