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GULF12 Al-Zubair, Schiller and Stolz finish fourth in Gulf 12 Hours

MEDIA INFORMATION

Gulf 12 Hours – Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi, (Sunday, December 11th, 2022)

For immediate release
Monday, December 12th, 2022

AL-ZUBAIR, SCHILLER AND STOLZ FINISH FOURTH WITH
AL-MANAR RACING TEAM AT GULF 12 HOURS IN ABU DHABI

ABU DHABI (UAE): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and German team-mates, Luca Stolz and Fabian Schiller, finished fourth overall after 335 laps and around 1770 kilometres of racing at the Gulf 12 Hours at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit on Sunday evening.

Driving their Mercedes-AMG GT3 run by Al-Manar Racing by GetSpeed, the trio were fighting for the lead for much of a close race where victory eventually fell to the #71 AF Corse Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 488 GT3 of Antonio Fouco, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi.

They finished 14.388 seconds in front of AF Corse Ferrari team-mates, Nicklas Nielsen, Davide Rigon and Alessio Rovera. The Audi Sport Team Santeloc crew of Patrik Niederhauser, Christopher Haase and Erwan Bastard rounded off the podium places with Al-Zubair, Schiller and Stolz just 29.779 seconds off the winning car and Stolz narrowly missing out on the Intercontinental GT Challenge title as a result of not claiming outright victory.

Al-Zubair said: “It was not the best. We were fighting for the lead until the last pit stop. The pace was quite good and we were really strong in some places. We had a bit of wet as well which was really odd for Abu Dhabi. The rain came down in my stint and it was quite difficult on slicks. We kept it on track and we were fighting with the factory Ferrari for the lead.

“Honestly, for a line up like this we should be very proud to be competitive against all the factory boys. Yes, we lost the chance to win at the last pit stop with penalties as well. One of our drivers got a penalty for track limits and 10 seconds of penalties in total. We also lost 15 seconds because of a mistake with one of the mechanics.

“We had a bit of an unfortunate incident with a few cars. One of the Audis was blocking us in an attempt to have a team-mate win the race. There’s racing and there’s this. Some pushing is a bit too dirty. It was very unfortunate for that. I gained a lot of experience. Overall, I was on a similar pace to Luca and Fabi. Both are factory drivers, so I am happy with that.”

The Al-Manar Racing Team started in a positive way and was in contention from the green lights all through the first half of the race held in largely dry conditions in Abu Dhabi.

With 6hrs 30mins to run and the track under a full course yellow, Schiller was at the wheel of the Al-Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes and was holding fifth place just one lap off a lead held by the #71 AF Corse Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 488 GT3.

The Al-Manar Racing Team had started the race from sixth on the grid with pole position falling to the #98 Mercedes AMG of Lucas Auer, Maro Engel and Maximilian Goetz, but the poll winners returned to the pits after completing just 24 laps and plummeted to the bottom of the leader board.

With eight hours of the race completed and 221 laps on the board for the leading Ferrari in the hands of Pier Guidi, the Al-Manar Racing Team Mercedes had slipped back to seventh place. Stolz was running only 42 seconds behind the leader and the top eight cars were on the same lap.

But the crew climbed as high as second place in the last three hours and eventually settled into fourth place, a position they held to the finish.

Ends

For further information:
Firas Nimri, Tel: + 962 7 7728 2000, E-mail: firas@nimri.com.

             

Date issued: 12/12/2022

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