Dubai 24 Hours
- 24-hour race of Dubai 2014: Two podium positions for the SLS AMG GT3 in the Dubai 24 Hours
- Second position for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
- Third position for race gullwing of Black Falcon
- Last year’s winner Bernd Schneider retired from the race
AMG customer sports teams achieved promising results in the start of the 2014 motor sports season. Two SLS AMG GT3 ended the Dubai 24-hour race winning podium positions. Start number 38 of ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport started from position twelve on the grid. The driver trio Marc Basseng, René Münnich (both GER) and Rob Huff (GBR) came home second with a gap of three laps to the winner. The race gullwing of Black Falcon won the third position. Start number 2, piloted by Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal (KSA), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) started from the fourth position on the grid and ended the race with a gap of six laps.
The third SLS AMG GT3 to cross the finish line came from Car Collection Motorsport and ended the first endurance race of the season on position 15. Start number 11 started from position 38 and was piloted by Heinz Schmersal, Johannes Siegler, Klaus Koch, Johannes Kirchhoff and Gustav Edelhoff (all GER).
Last year’s winning car with start number 1 of the customer team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon had to end the race ahead of time. The driver quartet with Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Andreas Simonsen (SWE) and Bernd Schneider (GER) took over the race from the second position on the grid and soon took hold of the first position. The SLS AMG GT3 dominated the 24-hour race for a long time. However, before midnight, electronics problems made a longer repair break in the box imperative. A convenient lead of 1.5 laps changed into a delay of 17 laps, which caused the SLS AMG GT3 to lose its position among the top 20. Further technical difficulties made another box stop necessary for the vehicle and prevented its continuation of the race.
SLS AMG GT3 of De Lorenzi Racing started the race from position 27. Piloted by Luc Braams, Duncan Huisman, Ivo Breukers (all NED) and Gianluca De Lorenzi (ITA), start number 19 fought their way up to the fourth overall position. Taking over the lead in the A6-Amateur class, the vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle. The subsequent repairs led to a delay and eventually to ending the race prior to time.
The Dubai 24 Hours is held for the ninth time this year and traditionally marks the beginning of the endurance race season. 77 cars started in the battle against the clock that is 24 hours long. 25 vehicles competed in the closely fought A6 class, in which all SLS AMG GT3 started as well.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “Today’s podium positions are a great result. I am pleased about the promising start of the 2014 motor sports season. The variety of customer teams that started in Dubai again proves the AMG Customer Sports Program philosophy. My congratulations to the customer teams ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Black Falcon for the podium positions in the first endurance race in 2014.”
Jochen Bitzer, head of AMG Customer Sports: “I am very satisfied with the results of this year’s Dubai 24 Hours. For a long time of the race, three SLS AMG GT3 were among the top five, in the end, two vehicles came home among the top three. As in the last two years, the race gullwing showed a strong performance in Dubai. Unfortunately, the SLS AMG GT3 did not manage to achieve the third victory in a row, but still, today’s results are a good start of the new season. I want to thank all customer teams and their drivers for their good work in Dubai.”