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24H Series

Mercedes Continues to Lead Through the Night in Dubai

Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon Mercedes out front in 24H Dubai…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon continues to lead the way in what’s turned into a caution-filled Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai.

With eight hours in the books, the No. 1 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Andreas Simonsen holds a one-lap lead over Johnny Mowlem’s Ram Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, which runs in second.

The No. 76 Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3, currently driven by BMW factory driver Dirk Werner, is classified third overall and in the A6-Pro class, with the pole-sitting No. 21 V8 Racing Corvette C6.R of Nicky Pastorelli closely in tow in fourth.

The story of the race so far has been the number of Code 60s, which has slowed the pace dramatically in the night-time hours. So far, there have been seven purple flag periods, where cars are not permitted to exceed 60 kph due to incidents on track.

It’s totaled for more than two hours under caution, and subsequently has resulted in nearly all of the front-running teams receiving lengthy pit lane penalties for illegal pit stops while under Code 60 conditions.

Of note, the No. 5 Spirit of Race Ferrari, driven by Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Alexander Talkanitsa Sr. and Alexander Talkanitsa Jr., has dropped back with suspected engine issues.

Other class leaders at the eight-hour mark include the No. 19 GDL Racing Mercedes (A6-Am), Nissan’s all-GT Academy driver No. 123 Nissan 370Z (SP2) and the No. 154 Nova Racing Ginetta (SP3).

RESULTS: Hour 8

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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