Audi locks out front row at the Hankook 24H Dubai
The first long distance race of the 2016 racing season can begin. After the welcome party for the Hankook 24H Dubai on Wednesday, competitors fought for the best grid spots at the qualifying on Thursday at the desert classic in the United Arab Emirates.
A total of 100 teams took up the hunt for the fastest times in nine different classes. Although the desert sand made the racetrack slippery, Hankook’s Ventus Premium racing tires ensured all drivers enjoyed consistently high grip and stability, keeping the fight for pole position riveting until the last second.
Two Audis take up the Hankook 24H Dubai from the first grid row on Friday at 14.00 hours. Christer Jöns turned the fastest qualifying lap with his Audi R8 LMS in 1:57.892 minutes, earning the German and his C.ABT Racing squad pole position. His compatriot and brand colleague Christopher Mies was just over three-tenths of a second slower and will tackle the endurance race for Land Motorsport from the second grid spot.
The fact that the Dutchman Nicky Pastorelli (Chevrolet Corvette / Team V8 Racing) qualified third, a mere thousandth of a second behind the front pair, shows just how competitive the qualifying was. The twelve best-placed teams qualified under two minutes and were separated by just two seconds. The new Mercedes AMG GT3 celebrated its successful debut on an international stage at the Hankook 24H Dubai, posting fifth place for Abu Dhabi Team Black Falcon and concluding the qualifying within striking distance of the polesitter.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook’s Motorsport Director Europe: “It’ll be an exciting race on Friday, particularly because all the favourites are at the front. Unlike last year, the lap times are significantly better. All the teams have praised the Hankook racing tires, which delivered the expected strong performance.”
Christer Jöns (Audi R8 LMS), C.ABT Racing: “The Hankook tire quickly reaches its peak, which is perfect for qualifying. But it also remains consistently fast over a long time and that’s important for the race, because you can push hard without the tire deteriorating.”