Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gulf 12 Hours: Overall Top 10 for Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra at Yas Marina

By Johan Laubscher

The Gulf 12 Hours took place at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Two Audi Sport customer racing teams took part, each with one Audi R8 LMS ultra entry.

Absolute Racing, the team that also fielded the entire twenty-car grid for the Audi R8 LMS Cup finale at Yas Marina, entered the #17 Audi R8 LMS ultra for the Gulf 12 Hours. Their entry was driven by Sun Jing Zu, Jiang Wei and Ho-Pin Tung. The Gulf 12 Hours was the second race for the Czech I.S.R. Racing team and their #75 Audi R8 LMS ultra, following their debut at the Spa 24 Hours in July. The car was driven by Filipe Salaquarda, Aditya Patel and Jiri Pisarik.

I.S.R. Racing qualified ninth on the grid, taking fifth in the Pro-Am GT3 class. Absolute Racing qualified fourteenth overall, eighth in class.

Absolute Racing showed strong pace within the Pro-Am GT3 class, but incidents and damage dropped them down the order and well off the lead lap. Ultimately at the conclusion of the first part of the twelve hour race, the #17 Audi R8 LMS ultra was positioned in eleventh overall and seventh in class, seven laps down from the leaders.

Early accident damage ended I.S.R. Racing’s participation in the first part of the Gulf 12 Hours after only completing nine laps. The car did not re-emerge from the garage and later it was confirmed that the team had retired the #75 Audi R8 LMS ultra and that they would not be taking part in the second part of the event. It was a sad end for the team’s 2014 season, but they will be back in 2015 with an extended GT program which includes the Blancpain GT Series.

By the end of the second and final part of the 2014 Gulf 12 Hours, the Chinese Audi Sport customer racing team of Absolute Racing brought their Audi R8 LMS ultra across the line in ninth overall, sixth in class. It was a strong result for the team.

Photo credit: Gulf 12 Hours / FotoSpeedy