2 Seas Motorsport has claimed a commanding victory in the Gulf 12 Hours with Ben Barnicoat, Martin Kodric and Isa Al Khalifa repeating as race winners in the Middle Eastern enduro.
Kodric drove the team’s No. 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to a one-lap win over the GT3 Pro-Am class-winning No. 88 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes of Dominik Baumann, Valentin Pierburg and Christoph Lenz.
It marked the Bahraini squad’s second consecutive Gulf 12 Hours win but coming in both a different car and circuit.
Barnicoat, Kodric and Al Khalifa claimed top honors in a McLaren 720S GT3 in the event’s temporary relocation to Bahrain International Circuit last January.
The winning Mercedes, which led at the first six-hour segment, overcame an unscheduled stop with two hours to go due to a suspension-related concern when Barnicoat was at the wheel.
A brake caliper change was also performed on the car but during the intermission between segments, which is allowed per event rules.
The Pro-Am class No. 66 2 Seas Mercedes of Casper Stevenson, Morgan Tillbrook and Ian Loggie, which took start of the final six hours of the race leading the category and running second overall, dropped to a third place class finish and fourth outright.
It came courtesy of a door issue for the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Conrad Grunewald, who was forced to make an unscheduled stop in the final hour.
Despite the setback, the All-American lineup of Grunewald, Mark Kvamme, JC Saada and Trenton Estep claimed GT3 Am class honors with a 7th place overall finish.
The No. 46 Kessel Racing Ferrari of David Fumanelli, Luca Marini and Alessio Salucci — the entry that was due to be driven by Valentino Rossi — completed the overall podium and second place result in Pro-Am.
GT4 class honors went to the 23 Greystone GT McLaren 570S GT4 of Iain Campbell, Oliver Webb and Jamie Clarke.
A number of pre-race favorites fought issues early on.
The No. 75 SunEnergy1-backed SPS Mercedes-AMG experienced delays due to a right-rear damper failure according to Maro Engel, who shared the car with Mikael Grenier and Kenny Habul to finish sixth overall.
Attempto Racing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II charged from the back of the grid to as high as fifth in the third hour with factory driver Dries Vanthoor at the control before facing gearbox problems and an accident by Alex Aka, who ran into the back of Grunewald in the second segment.
There was also a 25-minute safety car period in the first hour to clean up debris from the No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari, which crashed into the barriers under braking.
The race also saw multiple Full Course Yellow virtual safety car periods for debris cleanup.
Twelve of the 15 cars that started the race were classified at the finish.
RESULTS: Gulf 12H