AF Corse repeat Gulf 12 Hours win at Yas Marina Circuit
Team Yas Marina Circuit takes 2nd place in GTX category
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 16 December 2012: – Top Italian team, AF Corse scored its second successive victory in the Gulf 12 Hours held this past Friday, 14 December at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
After winning the inaugural race held at Yas Marina Circuit earlier this year by just 2.6", AF Corse had things a little easier this time as former Minardi F1 driver 'Gimmi' Bruni, Finn Toni Vilander, and Venezuelan Gaetano Ardagna took their Ferrari 458 to a 25" victory over the AF Waltrip 458 driven by Ryan Dalziel, Pierre Kaffer and Alex Popow after 309 laps of the challenging, varied Hermann Tilke-designed circuit.
Taking second place in the GTX category was team Yas Marina Circuit . The all-Emirati team, consisting of Saeed Al Mehairi, Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, and Abbas Al Alawi competed in the 12 hours in Yas’ own Aston Marin GT4.
Driver Saeed Al Mehairi commented: “While it’s not first place, we are more than pleased with the result - it was a true team effort. Although this Gulf 12 Hours just ended, we’re already looking forward to the next one!”
The overall podium place was finalised by a 3rd place showing for Autorlando Porsche of the Dutch Bleekemolen brothers, Jeroen and Sabastiaan, who shared with Venezuelan Emilio Di Guida. Autolardo’s Jeroen Bleekemolen managed some heroic stints early in the day as the team tried to make up for a 60s stop/go penalty for exceeding the maximum 75 minutes stint length at the very start of the race. The team was set for a strong recovery in the last 90 minutes of the race but the younger Bleekemolen actually felt ill for the final portion, cutting short his chase of the AF Waltrip car.
Fourth place fell to the Italian-American AF Waltrip’s team of Muarizio Mediani, Michele Rugolo and Steve Wyatt, while fifth overall and winner of the SC sportscar Class, just four laps down, was the Avelon Formula team of Ivan Bellarosa, 16-year-old Alessandro Latif and Emirati driver Juma Ali Al Dhaeri. The team’s Wolf GB08 was particularly rapid in Bellarosa's hands as he chased down down and passed the sixth place Kessel Racing Ferrari of Philipp Peter, Daniel Zampieri and Michael Broniszewski in the final stint of the race.
Kessel, narrowly beaten in the inaugural event, were unlucky once more. Good strategy under a first half Safety Car established the Swiss Ferrari 458 in front, but a delay when the front bodywork worked loose in the second half of the race, cost the team dear.
GTX class honours seemed firmly in the hands of the Ebimotors Porsche but a major gearbox issue threw them out contention. The Nova Race Ginetta G50 driven by Roberto Rainieri, Luca Magnoni, Luis Scarpaccio and Matteo Cressoni inherited the lead and got honors after a strong and consistent performance that allowed them to finish ahead of the Yas Marina Circuit team’s Aston Martin and the Barwell Motorsport V8 Vantage.
For the final results of the Gulf 12 Hours, please click here: Gulf 12 Hours - Final Result
About Yas Marina Circuit:
Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and entertainment venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is the home of the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With motorsport as its pulse and an extensive year-round programme of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences like Drag and Track Nights, the circuit has also emerged as a thriving hub of entertainment and community events in the UAE. As the region’s most dynamic and technologically advanced facility, the circuit is also a leading MICE venue, regularly hosting a diverse range of corporate meetings, conferences and events. Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting, driving an Aston Martin GT4 over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at Train Yas, or simply catch up with friends over burgers and shakes at Yas Central, there's something for everyone at Yas Marina Circuit.
About Gulf 12 Hours
The Gulf 12 Hours is a landmark motorsport endurance race taking place at the glamorous Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The second edition took place on Friday, December 14, 2012.
The event is open to four categories of cars: GT3, GT4, Cups and Sportscars CN2 Prototypes. The race is split in two 6-hour parts and mechanics are allowed to work on the cars under the public eyes for 40 minutes in between. For further information about the Gulf 12 Hours please visit www.gulf12hours.com.