Herberth Motorsport’s Sven Mueller leads the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai with one hour completed after a frantic start to the race that has included multiple lead changes.
Mueller made his way past Maxi Buhk’s HTP Winward Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 shortly before the completion of the opening hour, moving Herberth’s Porsche 911 GT3 R to the front of the field.
Mueller started from second on the grid but soon overtook pole-sitter Maro Engel on the run down to the first corner, until the Mercedes-AMG factory driver fought back a couple of laps later.
The lead swapped between the two drivers until Christopher Mies caught up in the MS7 by WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, but progress at the front of the field was halted when the race’s first Code 60 period was called after just seven minutes.
This was to retrieve Dirk Werner’s GPX Racing Porsche that went off at Turn 1, picking up heavy front-end and left-side damage after an accident (pictured below).
The car was brought back to the pits and it’s understood the Dubai-based team will seek to repair the car during the race.
Jeroen Bleekemolen sits third in Black Falcon’s Mercedes, ahead of Axcil Jeffries’ Toksport WRT Mercedes and Mies’ MS7 by WRT Audi.
The top five cars were separated by less than ten seconds heading into the first round of pit stops.
Jeffries and Toksport WRT are the highest-placed GT3 Am competitor, while Michael Schrey leads GT4 with Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport’s BMW M4 GT4.