For the last race of the 2019 racing season we went to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the Gulf 12H race. For us it was already the 2nd time that we tackled this race.
The first time in 2017 we only just missed a podium result, so the goal of the race was clear – podium!
We started as usual in a Mercedes AMG GT3, but with a new driver trio – Valentin Pierburg, Christian Hook and Manuel Lauck. For Christian Hook and Manuel Lauck it was even the first race in a Mercedes.
Accordingly, the priority in the training sessions was to get them used to the car as quickly as possible, which was successful. Right from the start they were able to run a good pace in the training sessions and were consistently in the top 5 positions in the AM class. So they were well prepared for the qualifying on Saturday, where each of the three drivers had to drive 15 minutes each. The fastest time of each driver is then added and divided by 3.
With this resulting average time we were able to secure the pole position in the AM class and at the same time were in 12th place overall – the course was set for a successful race.
The start of the race was driven by Valentin Pierburg. With a sovereign start and a good pace he could keep his AMG in the first hour before the 2nd placed Mercedes of AKKA ASP. In the following race it quickly became clear that the victory of the AM class would either go to us or to AKKA ASP. So during the first 6 hours they fought a tough duel with many position changes.
But after 6 hours we crossed the finish line on position 1 and could “win” part 1 of the race. For your information, that 12 hours race in Abu Dhabi will be divided into two 6 hours parts, in between there is a 2 hours break.
In part 2 we could maintain the 1st place in the class by a faultless performance of the team as well as the drivers. Christian Hook and Manuel Lauck were with Valentin Pierburg the fastest drivers in the AM class.
For this reason they won the race in the AM class after 12 hours with a 3 lap lead to 2nd place.
All in all a very good end to the motorsport year 2019, so now it’s time to switch off and enjoy the days off. Before it goes already on January 5th back to Dubai to the Creventic 24H of Dubai. This will be the first time we will be using the new AMG GT3.
Until then we wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and thank you for the support this year!