For over twelve hours, it looked as though SX Team Schubert could possibly win the 24 Hours of Dubai (AE) for the second time, having previously triumphed in the desert emirate in 2011. However, two collisions in the early hours of morning saw the number 76 BMW Z4 GT3 drop back down the field. The team eventually came home tenth after 583 laps.
Drivers Dirk Werner (DE), Bill Auberlen (US), Paul Dalla Lana (CA), Dane Cameron (US) and Claudia Hürtgen (DE) showed consistently good speed throughout the first half of the race, lapping among the leading group right from the word go and actually leading the race for a long period. However, shortly before five in the morning local time, two collisions with slower cars in quick succession resulted in SX Team Schubert dropping back down the standings.
The subsequent repair work caused the car to lose several laps on its rivals, and the gap to the leaders proved too much to overcome at the end of the race.
Racingdivas Team Schubert had more reason to celebrate. Natasja Smit-Sø (NL), Gaby Uljee (NL), Sandra van der Sloot (NL), Paulien Zwart (NL) and Shirley van der Lof (NL) recovered from problems early on in the race to produce a magnificent charge in their BMW 320d. They stormed through the field in the A3T class to snatch the class victory. In doing so, they were able to repeat last year’s success – this time against far stronger opposition.
Stefan Wendl (Team Manager Schubert Motorsport): “We paved the way to a good result in the first half of the race. We did not take too many risks and kept out of trouble. That worked very well and, after lapping consistently and a few problems for our rivals, we found ourselves at the head of the field. Unfortunately we then had our share of misfortune. We had to repair the car twice after collisions. Despite the excellent and fast work performed by our team, this cost us a lot of time. Despite this, the race was generally encouraging for the remaining endurance races this year, as the BMW Z4 GT3 ran without any technical problems from practice right through to the finish – and that despite all the stresses and strains. Our drivers were also magnificent. Paul Dalla Lana, in particular, was extremely consistent. Congratulations to our Racingdivas, who produced an energetic performance to pick up the class win despite several collisions.”
Dirk Werner: “It is a real shame that we were not able to convert the good performance of our car into a place on the podium. It could have been so much better, so you are obviously going to be disappointed after such a tiring race. I was in the car for the first of the two collisions. A Ferrari drove into my rear wheel when turning into the corner. That broke the wishbone. We were very unlucky, as it was not such a hard contact on the rear axle. Despite everything, I still really enjoyed being able to work with Team Schubert. I met a lot of familiar faces and the BMW Z4 GT3 is a very good car to drive. Those are the positives I will take away with me from Dubai.”
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