GPX Racing’s No. 36 Porsche 911 GT3 R held a commanding lead at the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai upon the completion of one-third distance.
Axcil Jefferies had a lead of four and a half minutes over Hubert Haupt in the Bilstein-liveried No. 4 Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo after eight hours.
The GPX car driven by Jefferies, Mathieu Jaminet, Julien Andlauer, Frederic Fatien and Alain Ferte has been the dominant force since moving to the head of the field during a round of pit stops during a Code 60 full-course slow zone almost two hours in.
GPX traded the lead with Haupt Racing Team as darkness fell over Dubai Autodrome before eventually breaking clear of the field after getting during another Code 60 pit lane shuffle after five hours.
Prior to GPX seizing the upper hand, the race had been led by the pole-sitting No. 92 Herberth Motorsport Porsche which has since dropped out of contention for the win after serving a lengthy pit stop that left it 17 laps off the lead in 17th position overall.
Six Code 60 periods have been triggered so far, including one that ate up 24 minutes of the opening hour due to a heavy accident at Turn 1 for the No. 928 Porsche 991-II Cup.
HRT and GRT Grasser Racing have consistently operated at the sharp end of the field since the start and were second and third with 16 hours left on the clock.
The two teams enjoyed a close scrap in the early stages of the race between returning Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti and Mercedes-AMG ace Maro Engel.
Bortolotti’s Grasser-prepared Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was around 54 seconds behind the HRT Mercedes at one-third distance, while Team WRT’s No. 31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo was a further minute back in fourth ahead of Dinamic Motorsport’s Porsche.
ST Racing’s BMW M4 GT4 led the way in the GT4 category as AC Motorsport led TOPCAR Sport by just three-tenths of a second at the head of the TCR division.