Friday, December 11, 2015

#11 Kessel Racing Ferrari Wins Red-Flagged Gulf 12 Hours

The Gulf 12 Hours ended just over ten minutes from the scheduled distance after an accident between the #99 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Michael Lyons and the #38 Black Pearl Racing by Rinaldi Ferrari of Alexander Volz.

The #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Davide Rigon, Michael Broniszewsky and Giacomo Piccini won the race and completed 301 laps. This is Rigon's second consecutive Gulf 12 Hours victory and Broniszewsky's and Piccini's first Gulf 12 Hours victories. The #11 Ferrari led 96 of 149 laps run in the second half of the event. 

The #2 Black Falcon Mercedes of Yelmer Buurman, Hubert Haupt and Abdulaziz Al Faisal finished second, 24.253 seconds behind the Ferrari and the #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin of Jonny Adam, Darren Turner and Ahmed Al Harthy rounded out the podium and finished a minute and nine seconds off the leader. 

The #55 AF Corse Ferrari of Marco Cioci, Jack Gerber and Ilya Melnikov won the Pro-Am class and  finished five laps back of the overall winners, fourth overall. Despite the accident, the #99 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Lyons, Marco Zanuttini and Vadim Gitlin won the Gentlemen's class and rounded out the top five having completed 295 laps and Rigon set the fastest lap of the race with a 2:10.546.

The #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Andrea Rizzoli, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci finished sixth. The #1 Black Falcon Mercedes of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Maro Engel and Khaled Al Qubaisi finished ten laps behind the overall winning Kessel Racing Ferrari. The #1 Mercedes suffered an electrical problem while running on the lead lap and in contention for the race victory. The electrical problem forced the team to spend a fair amount of time in the garage. The team also had to serve a penalty for Engel violating the time limit on one stint. 

Loris Capirossi finished his first race on four-wheel eighth overall, 12 laps down in the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari with co-drivers Alexis de Bernardi and Nicola Cadei. The Cup class winning #20 MRS GT-Racing Porsche of Xavier Maassen, Charlie Espenlaub and Charlie Putnam finished ninth overall and completed 284 laps. The #10 Renault Sport R.S. 01 of Jerome Naveaux, Miguel Ramos, Filipe Barreiros and Jean-Pierre Lequeux rounded out the top ten, completing 280 laps. 

Prior to the red flag that ended the race, the lone safety car period in the second half of the race occurred when the #87 GDL Racing Porsche of Remi Terrail had an accident in turn four. The safety car period lasted just over 27 minutes.