View Full Version : GT: AF Corse Wins Gulf 12 Hours

15th December 2012, 07:19
Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Gaetano Ardagna give Italian squad back-to-back victories in Abu Dhabi enduro...

set to be a three-way fight to the checkered flag, in shades of the Middle Eastern enduroís inaugural event from eleven months ago.
While Fridayís around-the-clock marathon didnít see a near photo finish, it came as a dominant result for AF Corse, which scored a 1-2 result.
Ferrari factory driver Gianmaria Bruni took his No. 1 entry across the line 25.192 seconds ahead of the team's sister 458 Italia GT3 of Ryan Dalziel, who made up more than 10 seconds during his final stint 25-minute stint.

The turning point came with just over two hours remaining during the final safety car period when the Bruni, Toni Vilander and Gaetano Ardagna-driven Ferrari made a strategic full service pit stop under yellow.
The battle for top overall honors was fierce at times, with 14 GT3 entries turning out for the second running of the Middle Eastern enduro.
With a minimum of four timed pit stops required during each of the six-hour race segments, a quick fifth stop put Vilander in the lead ahead of the No. 11 Ferrari with less than 90 minutes to go when Pierre Kaffer had to wait the full two minutes in his pit box for his fourth mandated stop.

A final round of stops, which saw Vilander hand over to Bruni and Kaffer to Dalziel, saw a 40-plus second gap shrink to 25 seconds by the checkered flag.
"It's nice," Vilander told SPEED.com after the race. "It was a hard fight. We pushed the maximum all the time and it worked out perfect for us. I'm very happy and thanks to Amato [Ferrari] and everyone."

Dalziel, who finished third in January's race at Yas Marina Circuit, was forced to settle for second with co-drivers Kaffer and Alex Popow. The trio won the pole on Thursday, ending up the quickest of the massive six-car entry by AF Corse.
"We just unlucky on the last safety car," Dalziel said. "We were going to pit the lap after the No. 1 car so we didn't stack up in the pits and they pulled the safety car in early and we kinda got stuck out there.
"It's unfortunate. I think we definitely would have given them a run for their money. We were definitely as quick as them... Having come back to Abu Dhabi and gotten a second place, maybe I'll return next year and win it."

Another contender was the No. 6 Autorlando Sport Porsche 997 GT3 R of brothers Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Emilio di Guida, which finished nearly 90 seconds behind in third.
Former American Le Mans Series champion Bleekemolen struggled during the second-to-last stint as he fought illness, before handing controls over to his brother for the run to the flag. Di Guida did not drive during the race's second segment.
The Autorlando Porsche had clear sailing to a podium finish due to the misfortunes of a third AF Corse-run Ferrari driven by Stephane Sarrazin, Nic Minassian and Enzo Potolicchio, who lost seven laps in the 9th hour with left-front wheel bearing failure.
Potolicchio, who was running third place, and less than 40 seconds from the leader at the time, soldiered home in 8th overall, seventh in the highly competitive GT3 category.

Other GT3 contenders to get caught out include the No. 8 MRS Molitor McLaren MP4-12c, which crashed out in the 9th hour, along with the United Autosports Audi R8 LMS ultra that battled gearbox, electrical and power steering issues but finished, albeit more than 60 laps behind.

The SC category saw the No. 45 Avelon Formula Wolf GB08 of Alessandro Latif, Juma Ali Al Dhaeri and Ivan Bellarosa take the class win, finishing fifth overall, while the No. 25 Nova Race Ginetta G50 of Roberto Rayneri, Luca Magnoni, Luis Scarpaccio and Matteo Cressoni took top class honors in GTX.

Remarkably, 19 of the 21 starters took the finish of the race, which featured a unique 90-minute intermission between each six-hour segment.


15th December 2012, 12:20
Another great win for the team, Bruni&Vilander great drivers. Missed Fisi in the car. But amazing job. The AF Corse steam roller keeps going.

15th December 2012, 12:50
Another great win for the team, Bruni&Vilander great drivers. Missed Fisi in the car. But amazing job. The AF Corse steam roller keeps going.

No idea why Ardagna took Fisico's place, but he did a fantastic job.

15th December 2012, 13:26
Thanks for posting this fantastic video Massimo!

15th December 2012, 19:47
Yea man..great win..beat the macs too. Think they had like 6 cars here for this.
Wonderful victory for Ferrari!!

16th December 2012, 09:59
Yea man..great win..beat the macs too. Think they had like 6 cars here for this.
Wonderful victory for Ferrari!!

Typically McLaren, they set the fastest lap, but both MP4-12's experienced technical difficulties, sounds familiar?

17th December 2012, 21:32
Haha funny that Mclaren seem to have the same problems with road cars as their F1-cars LOL! Fantastic :xmastongue:

18th December 2012, 14:24
Well the Macs are seriously fast cars and have beat the 458's in the FIA-GT, so they will always be a threat.
I do hope Ferrari has a few updates coming to the 458 squads for this coming season. They will need them.