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Dubai Post-Race Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s post-race notebook from the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai…

Photo: Petr Fryba/Creventic

***Rik Breukers revealed that he drove the race-winning Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo without air con, because he didn’t know the car was equipped with it. The Dutchman completed 9.5 hours behind the wheel.

***Breukers spent a few hours early in the race battling for the lead with Grasser Racing Team, the team he has frequently driven for. While not yet confirmed, he could be added to the team’s lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month, having won the race with Grasser last year.

***Audi’s win marks its second at Dubai, with WRT having claimed victory in 2016. It also keeps up an unbroken string of German manufacturers winning the race since its inaugural running in 2006. At 607 laps, this year’s race was the third-longest distance travelled by the winner.

***The total of 14 Audis in the race, between GT3, GT4 and TCR entries, matches last year’s record number of customer cars in a single race.

***In addition to Rik Breukers winning overall, his father Ivo finished third in the TCE edition, sharing the Red Camel-Jordans.nl Cupra TCR with Henry Littig, Cody Hill and Klaus Kresnik.

***The TCE race win went to Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing with its Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR piloted by Marlon Menden, Fabian Danz, Yannick Mettler, Stefan Tanner and Jerome Ogay, who finished 26th overall.

***Duncan Huisman revealed on the stream during the pre-race buildup that this weekend would be V8 Racing’s last race with its venerable Corvette C6-ZR1. The car was built in 2011 and was one of the oldest cars in the field.

***Bert de Heus was taken to the hospital after his accident in the MP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 which saw him collide with the No. 378 Ginetta G55 which sustained a broken driveshaft. The Dutchman underwent surgery for a fractured vertebrae.

***Christopher Mies fell ill with food poisoning during the race but continued to drive the MS7 by WRT Audi. “Never felt so bad in a car. Drink system and air con failed, last time I could drink was 3am this morning,” the Audi factory driver tweeted late in the race.

***Leading Grasser and Lamborghini engineer Wim Everaerts has recently taken up a role as engineer at WRT, leaving Grasser after three years with the team. 

***The incident which forced Grasser’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 into the pits with rear-right suspension damage was caused by contact with a Porsche Cup car.

***Attempto Racing’s No. 66 Audi, which had factory driver Kelvin van der Linde amongst the lineup, retired in the closing hours of the race with a broken driveshaft. 

***Andy Yan is OK after a serious incident that saw his KCMG Honda Civic FK7 TCR go up in flames. “I want to say thank you to all of the marshals and all the people who helped and took care of me. Thanks also to my team KCMG. It was a very serious incident, but I am okay,” he said.

***The KCMG Honda was co-driven by team owner Paul Ip, with the Hong Kong-based outfit running the TCR entry alongside its pair of Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s. 

***The 24H Series Championship of the Continents returns with the 24 Hours of Portimao on July 6-7, followed by rounds at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Circuit of The Americas. The standings will be decided based on teams’ results from Dubai, COTA and their best finish at either of the European races.

***The 24H Series European Championship gets underway on March 29-30 with the 12 Hours of Mugello, meanwhile. 

René de Boer contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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