Herberth Motorsport has claimed victory in the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, leading a 1-2 for Porsche in the German manufacturer’s first major 24-hour win with the new-generation 911 GT3 R.
Robert Renauer took the No. 911 Porsche to a two-lap victory over the No. 12 Manthey Racing entry, following an incident-filled 24H Series season-opener that was marred by 22 Code 60 periods and nearly six hours of time under caution.
The winning entry featured 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley, in his Porsche GT3 debut, marking the Kiwi’s first 24-hour race victory in only his second GT racing start.
The German squad took control of the race in the overnight hours, when an accident for the Manthey entry, which led at the halfway point, cost them nearly two minutes for repairs in the 16th hour.
While having dropped to fifth at the time, Klohs, Jochen Krumbach and Porsche’s young stars Matteo Cairoli and Sven Mueller charged back to finish second overall and in the A6-Pro class.
Renauer, meanwhile, shared top overall honors with his twin brother Alfred, as well as Hartley, Daniel Allemann and Ralf Bohn, completing 578 laps.
It marked Porsche’s first overall win in the Middle Eastern enduro since 2014 when Stadler Motorsport took a 997-based 911 GT3 R to victory.
“I only met the squad for the first time on Wednesday and I immediately felt at home,” Hartley said. “My first outing in a GT-Porsche was a great experience and I hope that I’ll be back again next year.
“I love driving the 911 GT3 R on the road and now I’ve also fallen in love with the racing version.”
The No. 3 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 completed the overall podium in third after a steady run spearheaded by Maro Engel and Yelmer Buurman, with Joe Osborne manhandling the No. 14 Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS to fourth overall, after losing power steering.
Three Porsches finished inside the top-five, with the No. 76 IMSA Performance entry coming home in fifth.
A number of GT3 contenders were knocked out of contention, most notably the No. 2 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG, which crashed in the hands of Khaled Al Qubaisi in the 17th hour when running third.
Mirko Bortolotti collected the stricken Mercedes-AMG on-track, resulting in retirement for the No. 963 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 as well, some ten hours after the sister No. 964 Lamborghini dropped out, also due to an accident.
The No. 21 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini, which showed early pace, finished 21st overall after multiple mechanical and on-track issues.
Defending race winners Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, which entered two Audi R8 LMS cars for the first time, had a mixed race, with contact in fifth hour delaying the No. 4 car, with the Saudi-backed No 5 entry coming home sixth overall.
A6-Am class honors went to the No. 1 Hofor Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Michael Kroll, Chantal Kroll, Roland Eggimann, Kenneth Heyer and Christiaan Frankenhout, with a seventh place overall finish.
Black Falcon, meanwhile, claimed the 991 win with its No. 68 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which finished four laps ahead of the second-placed PROsport Performance entry, featuring Americans Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Putman and Joe Foster, plus Andy Pilgrim.
SPX went to the No. 87 GDL Racing Middle East Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, in a 1-2 run for the Italian manufacturer.
The debuting BMW M4 GT4, run by Schubert Motorsport, finished fifth in the SPX class, and ahead of the SP3-GT4 class-winning Optimum Ginetta G55 GT4.
RESULTS: 24H Dubai