Audi win first Gulf 12 Hours race
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The curtain came down on a fantastic year of on-track action at Yas Marina Circuit with Audi triumphing in the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours as the Attempto Racing team secured a one-two finish following an impressive performance.
Spectators were given the opportunity to enjoy two days of superb, high-speed race action in Abu Dhabi as Yas Marina Circuit hosted the ninth edition of the Gulf 12 Hours, made up of its largest field to date, with talented drivers from across the globe, including seven-time Moto GP winner Valentino Rossi, competing against each other.
Among the cars featuring in the event were luxury models from the likes of Lamborghini, Ferarri, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche, plus many more.
One of the region’s toughest endurance races, made up of two grueling six-hour sessions, didn’t disappoint, and it was Audi celebrating at its conclusion thanks to their maiden victory in the Gulf 12 Hours, which came just two weeks after the Circuit had hosted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The #66 Attempto Audi R8 GT3, driven by Christopher Mies, crossed the finishing line first, ahead of Nick Foster’s #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 with Rossi, behind the wheel of the #46 Monster VR46 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, finishing in third position.
Having begun the second part of the race with a front row lockout, the #66 Attempto Audi R8 GT3 was handed a huge slice of fortune in the shape of an early Stop/Go penalty for a pit stop infringement in the first session, served as a safety car was called when the #83 Iron Lynx all-female Ferrari 488 GT3 Pro collided with the #15 Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 when attempting to lap driver David Holloway. The Ferrari suffered toe link failure to the rear left wheel, causing immediate retirement.
The #66 Audi returned to the track in second place, 12 seconds behind its sister car, and while they switched positions on more than one occasion, eventually the #66 car pulled ahead and held on for the victory.
The battle for third came to a lively and entertaining finish for those race fans inside Yas Marina Circuit as the #7 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R and the #19 GPX Racing Porsche both fell out of favour due to broken steering and electrical problems respectively, leaving Rossi to secure his first endurance race podium finish alongside team-mates Luca Marini and Alessio Salucci.
Elsewhere, the weekend played host to the second round of the TRD 86 Cup, Yas Marina Circuit’s first ever single make championship, where drivers compete over the course of seven race weekends, all behind the wheel of a Toyota GT86, for a place on the podium.
The Sprint Race was won by the UAE’s Saif Al Ameri, who enjoyed a triumph on home soil, with Spain’s Kepa Carmona finishing in second, ahead of Switzerland’s Nidal Baumgartner, who was third.
In the TRD 86 Cup Endurance Race, meanwhile, it was the UK’s Aaron Mason who was first past the finishing line following a solid display, with Baumgartner and Carmona once again making up the top three.
There is plenty more race action to look forward to in 2020 with a packed schedule at Yas Marina Circuit, including the return of the TRD 86 Cup on 16-17 January.