The Swiss racing team Kessel Racing has won the fifth “Gulf 12 Hours” endurance circuit race in Abu Dhabi, beating off stiff competition from Germany’s Black Falcon team.
Davide Rigon crossed the winning line for Kessel, driving the Ferari 458, number 11.
This is Kessel Racing’s third win in the competition, which sees 12 teams competing in a marathon driving event, with drivers taking shifts to represent their team.
The team’s Valentino Rossi won in 2012, also driving a Ferrari. Last year, Jorge Lorenzo won for the team, also in a Ferrari.
This year, Rigon received help from his teammates Giacomo Piccini and Michael Broniszewski, to finish 301 laps in 5 hours, 42 minutes and 21 seconds – 24 seconds ahead of The Black Falcon’s drivers, Abdulaziz Turki Al-Faisal, Hubert Haupt, and Yelmer Buurman, who finished second.
The Oman Racing team finished third, 44 seconds behind the champion. This is the team’s first race driving the Aston Martin number 44. The car was driven by Ahmad Al-Harthy, Darren Turner and Jonny Adam.
The Gulf 12 Hours race one of the most difficult endurance races in the world, demanding patience and endurance, considering the high temperatures inside the car and the long time behind the wheel.
The course around the Yas Marina Circuit was used for the 2015 Etihad Airways Formula 1 Grand Prix.
There were two accidents on the track at this time around. The first one happened in the first phase of the race, with two cars colliding on a corner. Both cars had to leave the race, though the race continued unaffected.
With eight minutes left on the clock, a crash brought out the red flag due to an accident involving Kessel Racing’s number 99 and Black Pearl Racing’s number 38. The cars hit oil coming out of the exit of Turn 3 and started spinning.
The accident did not stand between Kessel’s second car – driven by Vadim Gitlin, Michael Lyons and Marco Zanuttini – and the Swiss’s second title.
Kessel’s third car was driven by former MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi, Alexis de Bernardi, and Nicola Cadei.
Victory in PRO-AM went to the 55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia with Jack Gerber, Marco Cioci and Ilya Meinikov behind the wheel.
In Cup class, MRS GT-Racing controlled the field from start to finish, having taken pole position to set the perfect conditions for a good race. The Americans Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub, who premiered at Yas Marina Circuit, took victory together with Dutch team-mate Xavier Maassen in the 20 Porsche GT3 991.