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24H Series - Race Report 24H Dubai 2020
BLACK FALCON has won the 15th edition of the 24 hours race in Dubai. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Ben Barker (UK), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Hubert Haupt (DE) and Manuel Metzger (DE) had gained a little more than four and a half minutes lead with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 thanks to a strong performance at the wheel and a perfect strategy of the team in difficult and changeable weather conditions, when the race had to be stopped with the red flag after seven hours and twenty minutes. Torrential rain had flooded parts of the track and the pit area. A restart of the race was ruled out in the early morning hours due to the persistently bad weather conditions, so that the positions at the time of the race interruption were classified as final results. With this renewed success, BLACK FALCON celebrates its fifth overall victory in the Dubai 24-hour race and has been the undisputed record winner of the desert classic since 2018.
Strong results in training and qualifying sessions
The driver line-up of the BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4 showed a strong performance during the whole race weekend. Khaled Al Qubaisi, Ben Barker, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Hubert Haupt and Manuel Metzger set the second fastest time in qualifying after second place in free practice. In the subsequent night practice session the quintet strengthened their ambitions for a top position in the race with another second place.
The right strategy makes the difference
Jeroen Bleekemolen opened the race in bright sunshine and was in the leading group from the very first minute with an excellent pace. Metzger then took over the AMG #4 and put pressure on the leaders during his double stint with fast lap times. After about five hours of racing, Hubert Haupt, who was now at the wheel, and the team decided together on a bold strategy: When it started to rain, the BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 did not come into the pits to change to rain tyres. Haupt mastered the difficult laps with slick tyres on wet surface before the rain eased noticeably and the track dried quickly. As a result, the team saved one pit stop compared to the competition and was now in the lead with a comfortable gap. Shortly afterwards, as the weather conditions over the Dubai Autodrome worsened again, BLACK FALCON and AMG debutant Ben Barker delivered a strong performance on a partially flooded track until Al Qubaisi got in the car for his first stint. After about seven hours of driving, the race was finally interrupted with the red flag and not restarted.
BLACK FALCON extends title collection
With another overall victory, BLACK FALCON continues the impressive success story at the 24-hour race in Dubai: After 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018, the team from Meuspath celebrates its fifth overall victory this year and its ninth podium place since 2011. Khaled Al Qubaisi, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hubert Haupt can now call themselves record winners of the Dubai 24-hour race thanks to their third overall victory each (all with BLACK FALCON). Ben Barker and Manuel Metzger celebrated their first overall victory.
Sean Paul Breslin (Team Principal BLACK FALCON GT): "We are very happy about the fifth overall victory in Dubai, which is special because of the difficult conditions. The drivers and the team have done a fantastic job. Unfortunately we were not able to show our potential over the whole 24 hours. Many thanks to the entire team and to everyone who made the race possible with their hard work."
Further information about the BLACK FALCON team is available daily on the team's social media channels: