2018 Hankook 24H Dubai Race Comes to An End, Black Falcon Wins
The 13th edition of Hankook 24H Dubai has come to an end. It was a weekend filled with adrenaline for the fans and audience here at the Dubai Autodrome. The atmosphere at the venue was electrifying and the experience of witnessing high-performance cars racing to their extremes thrilling. The 2018 race has been won by Black Falcon. This year’s win is the fourth for both team and manufacturer. The #2 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3, with drivers Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman and Gabriele Piana, gave a tough fight for the finish line.
When the #964 Lamborghini Huracán of GRT Grasser Racing Team, with Mirko Bortolotti behind the wheel, managed to nab pole position with a best lap time of 1.56.716s, setting a record qualifying lap, it was being anticipated that the Italian would take away the title for 2018. The race was flagged off by H.H. Sheikh Juma Al Maktoum and ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. The Lambo was ahead of the 89 cars and led the race for the first nine laps. Then, unluckily, Bortolotti, who was driving the Lambo, had to come to the pits replace a punctured rear left tyre. This gave the Two Black Falcon Mercedes a window of opportunity.
The #3 AMG GT3, with drivers Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Luca Stolz, and Manual Metzger, taking control of the race. Meanwhile the #964 Lamborghini Huracán, with drivers Mark Ineichen, Rolf Ineichen, Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti, recovered from the early setback and was chasing down the leaders.
The next early morning (Saturday), there was a collision which eliminated the #3 Black Falcon Mercedes. Now, it was the other Merc of Black Falcon to bring home the title. It was after a total of 24 hours and 606 laps of a pure adrenaline-loaded race, the #2 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3, driven by Abdulaziz Al Faisal, crossed the line.
An ecstatic Faisal commented on his win, “I can’t express how happy I am! My thanks to my team and my teammates, it’s been an amazing job from everyone. I’ve done this for 11 years now, and finally I’ve won it for a second time. It was a bit harder this year, the competition has grown, but I’m really happy to be here!”
Following the Mercedes, it was the #12 Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R, with drivers Otto Klohs, Lars Kern, Mathieu Jaminet and Sven Müller, securing the second position for the second year in a row. And the #964 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 made an impressive comeback to claim the last spot on the podium. Kudos to that!