Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon leads the way in the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, with four hours of the around-the-clock desert enduro now complete.
Andreas Simonsen enjoys a nearly four-minute lead in the No. 1 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, with the field under the third Code 60 (full-course caution) of the race for a stopped car and circuit repairs.
While the German-run squad is out front, it hasn’t been clear-sailing for the two-time and defending race winners, as Jeroen Bleekemolen was handed a stop/hold penalty for jumping the start.
The pole-sitting No. 21 V8 Racing Corvette C6.R of Nicky Pastorelli led early in the opening hour, although Bleekemolen managed to retake the top spot before handing over to co-driver Khaled Al Qubaisi.
The biggest drama in the fight for the overall win came in the third hour when Tomonobu Fujii crashed the No. 7 Craft-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in Turn 7, which brought out the first Code 60 of the race.
Fujii’s accident has resulted in retirement for the race-contending entry that featured Aston Martin Racing factory drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Muecke.
The No. 76 Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 of Paul Dalla Lana runs in second, ahead of the N0. 38 All-Inkl.com Mercedes, which has also enjoyed time out front.
Remarkably, cars from four of the five manufacturers in A6-Pro have led so far.
Other class leaders include the No. 88 Dragon Racing Ferrari (A6-Am), No. 12 Manor MP Motorsport Viper (SP2) and Speedworks Motorsport Ginetta (SP3)
RESULTS: Hour 4