The GT Academy team has once again scored a podium finish in the season opening Dubai 24 Hours, bettering last year‘s finish by one place.
Having qualified the two cars 1st and 2nd in class at the hands of Lucas Ordoñez and Alex Buncombe, the Academy teams ran well for much of the first quarter of the race, before endurance racing threw its malevolent dice. Car #147, taken by Buncombe to a class lead, sustained significant damage in a collision during Sabine Schmitz’s stint, while the #127 car was, bizarrely, hit by a wheel that fell off a BMW ahead of it, damaging the bumper and fortunately not the screen or Wolfgang Reip. While the latter took nearly an hour to sort and dropped the car to 9th in class, the #147 370Z was unfortunately immobile for a total of nearly 4 hours, ending its hopes of a good finish.
Despite the time loss from this and other associated mechanical woes – changing a broken damper at 9am and the entire differential 2 hours from the end – German Academy winner Peter Pyzera, US winner Steve Doherty, Schmitz and Buncombe managed to get home 9th in class and 43rd overall after 456 laps, with Doherty taking the chequered flag.
Aside from tyres and brakes, the #127 RJN Motorsport Nismo 370Z had a far less troubled race. European winner Reip, Russian winner Mark Shulzhitskiy, Ordoñez and Roman Rusinov made up all but four of the laps that they’d lost in the repairs to finish 2nd in class and 21st overall after 543 laps.
GTPlanet offers congratulations to the GT Academy and RJN Motorsport teams for another succcessful Dubai 24 Hours!
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