Audi beats Mercedes to secure maiden Dubai 24 Hours victory
The #19 WRT team of Laurens Vanthoor, Stuart Leonard, Michael Meadows and Alain Ferte took its Audi R8 LMS to victory in the Dubai 24 Hours, beating the #16 Black Falcon Mercedes AMG SLS GT3.
The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT dominated the 24 Hours race, finishing five laps clear of the second-placed Mercedes driven by Oliver Webb, Oliver Morley, Adam Christodoulou and Frankie Montecalvo.
The #19 qualified fourth and started third in the race, taking the lead by the end of 15 hours and maintaining it until the chequered flag to give Audi its first win in the Dubai race.
For the #16, it was a topsy-turvy race, with their original chassis catching fire on Thursday and the mechanics having to prepare a spare chassis using the 2015 Dubai race-winning display car.
The team, having started from the back of the field, fought hard to finish second ahead of the polesitting #4 C.Abt Racing car of Daniel Abt, Christer Jons, Andreas Weishaupt, Isaac Tutumlu Lopez and Matias Henkola in the A6-Pro category.
They were in a fight with the #26 Konrad Motorsport's Lamborghini Huracan for the final podium spot. But moments before the end, the Austrian team's car caught fire, dropping them to 10th place.
Fourth place went to Am category winner #10 Hofor Racing's Mercedes, while the top five was completed by #14 Optimum Motorsport's Audi R8 LMS.
The top 10 was completed by the #22 Am Mercedes of Preci-Spark the #34 Am Audi of Car Collection Motorsport, the #833 Pro Chevrolet of V8 Racing, the #7 Lamborghini of HB Racing ninth and Konrad Motorsport's stricken Huracan.
Potential podium finishers such as the #11 Scuderia Praha, #2 Abu Dhabi Racing Black Falcon and #3 Black Falcon suffered retirements from the race.
The race is on: 24H Dubai underway
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT wins 24H Dubai