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24H Series

Black Falcon Hits Trouble, Fach Auto Tech Porsche Takes Lead at Midnight

Black Falcon Mercedes hits battery problems, loses more than five laps…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

There’s a new leader as the clock strikes midnight in the United Arab Emirates, as Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon hits trouble in the 10th hour of the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai.

A battery change for the No. 1 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Bernd Schneider resulted in a lengthy pit stop for the two-time and defending race winners.

It has dropped the gull-winged entry, which has dominated the race from the onset, drop back to sixth overall and now in chase mode.

“There was some problem with the battery,” said co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen. “We had a one-and-a-half lap lead but we’re now four laps down. There’s only one thing to do now, which is drive flat out… We’re going to have to give it our all.”

Things got worse for the German-run squad as the car was wheeled into the garage for further attention just a few laps after Schneider rejoined.

The No. 4 Fach Auto Tech Porsche 997 GT3 R of Sebastian Asch has now taken over the lead, more than one minute ahead of the Matt Griffin-driven Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia in second overall.

Among the driving strength in the Swiss-entered Porsche is 21-year-old Californian Connor De Phillippi, who has starred in his 24-hour debut.

The No. 76 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 of Paul Dalla Lana runs in third, one lap behind, following nearly two hours without a Code 60.

RESULTS: Hour 10

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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