Creventic has confirmed that the 15th edition of the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai will not resume after an overnight red flag and worsening weather conditions at Dubai Autodrome.
The race went under red flag at 10:17 p.m. local time on Friday evening after seven hours, 17 minutes of running, as rain showers became heavier and made reaching the 60 km/h maximum speed during the preceding Code 60 period almost impossible for many cars.
Standing water around the track worsened the situation and has taken a long time to dissipate, owing to the track’s limited drainage capacity.
Rain continued overnight, picking up at around 4 a.m. into the heaviest rainfall, while thunder and lightning strikes have also occurred sporadically during the night.
A statement confirming the final suspension of the race was made by Creventic at 7:38 a.m. local time.
Prior to that, updates were made at 11:30 p.m., 12 a.m. and 2 a.m., the latter of which promised a further update at 7 a.m. local time but suggested that the race would not get back underway before 8 a.m.
This allowed the paddock several hours of rest.
Some of the worst flooding on the track is on the pit straight and in pit lane, and would not be able to be cleared in time to get racing back underway.
Reports, meanwhile, suggest the pedestrian access tunnel beneath the track is flooded, too.
Cars were parked on the grid when the red flag was brought out but a number left overnight when it became clear the race would not resume.
“The weather conditions have heavily impacted the entire city and the infrastructures of Dubai Autodrome,” read a statement by Creventic.
“Despite the best effort of Dubai Autodrome staff and officials to resolve the situation on track, the water level on track and in the pit lane continued to rise throughout the night.
“In mutual agreement, Creventic and Dubai Autodrome have decided not to resume the race on grounds of safety.”
Black Falcon Set to Confirmed as Winner
Black Falcon is expected to be confirmed as race winner when official results are released, with its No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 shared by Ben Barker, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Khalid Al Qubaisi, Hubert Haupt and Manuel Metzger.
A bold strategy risk during the Code 60 immediately before the red flag paid off for the German team, which pitted Barker for Al Qubaisi and refueled in time to make it back out on track in the lead, just minutes before the red flag was called.
This allowed it to have over half a tank of fuel ahead of an expected restart while using up Am driver Al Qubaisi’s drive time, but series officials later communicated that the red flag period would not count towards drive times.
Car Collection Motorsport is second with its No. 88 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo that won last year, while MS7 by WRT’s similar Audi is third.
MP Motorsport leads the GT3-Am class with its Mercedes for Henk de Jong, Daniel de Jong, Bert de Heus and Jaap van Lagen, ahead of Toksport WRT’s Am car.
South Korean team Atlas BX Motorsports is the provisional GT4 winner, also using Mercedes-AMG machinery, and with drivers Jongkyum Kim, Steven Cho, Jaesung Park and Masataka Yanagida.
A trio of BMW M4 GT4s make up the next three positions in class, with Century Motorsport’s pair of cars second and third ahead of Team Avia Sorg Rennsport.
AC Motorsport wins the TCE division with the highest placed touring car and also takes TCR class honors, with its Audi RS 3 LMS TCR.
That car was driven by Gilles Magnus, Stephane Perrin, Vincent Radermecker, Tom Boonen and Matthew Taskinen.
Results are provisional and based on standings immediately before the red flag. Creventic is expected to confirm the official results soon.