The Car Collection Motorsport team produced a flawless display to win the Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Chris Froggatt from Great Britain guided the Audi R8 LMS GT3 home to win the six-hour race after 140 laps. Leipert Motorsport finished in second place, three laps back, with Germany’s Fidel Leib in the cockpit of a Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo. The Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi, which forms part of the 24H Series powered by Hankook, featured the GT, 991 and TG classes for the first time at Yas Marina Circuit. However, the results do not count towards the championship in the endurance series, but are classed as a single event. As title sponsor and exclusive tyre partner, premium tyre maker Hankook supplied the event with the high-end Ventus Race tyre.
The Car Collection Motorsport team qualified third at the 5.554-kilometre Yas Marina Circuit. When the race started at 12:00 local time (09:00 CET) on Saturday, they initially dropped back into eleventh place. The trio of drivers – Antares Au (Hong Kong) and Britain’s John Loggie and Chris Froggatt – then set about applying pressure in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 and took the lead after some clever pit stops and fast stints. The lead then changed hands several times before Car Collection Motorsport, perfectly supported by the Hankook Ventus Race tyre, was able to pull clear of the field. By the time they crossed the finish line to take the win, the team had extended its lead to three laps. As well as overall victory, the team also won the GT class.
Over the course of the race, Leipert Motorsport emerged as the team’s fiercest rival. The crew of Gregg Gorski, Gerhard Watzinger (both USA) and German Fidel Leib were able to match the pace at the head of the field for much of the race, and eventually came home second in the #710 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo after 137 laps of racing. Third place, a further 56.27 seconds back, went to the #924 Porsche 991-II Cup of the Profildoors by Huber Racing team, who also won the 991 class. Pole-sitters Inception Racing by Optimum were unlucky. Technical issues resulted in the team losing a lot of time, and the #72 McLaren 720S GT3 eventually had to settle for twelfth place.
There was drama in the TG class. Having opened a clear lead, the Red Camel-Jordans.nl team (Cupra TCR DSG) was forced to retire with technical issues shortly before the finish. This left the way clear for ST Racing, who qualified fastest in the TG class. Samantha Tan from Canada and American Jon Miller took full advantage in the #438 BMW M4 GT4 to finish fourth and claim a class win that looked unlikely as the race entered its closing stages. Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “That was a very exciting race for a long time. The lead changed hands regularly between four teams with cars from three different manufacturers, before Car Collection Motorsport was able to pull clear. The team did a perfect job, both on the track and in the pit lane. The same goes for ST Racing. They may have benefitted from the retirement of a rival, but they still took an excellent fourth place and with it victory in the TG class. As usual, the Hankook race tyre proved to be a strong and reliable partner for all the cars in all the classes at the demanding Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.”