A case of win some - loose some in the desert

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The 2016 24H of Dubai saw just two Aston Martin entries, one from defending SP3 champions Global Racing by Speedworks Motorsport and another from JW Bird Motorsport with their GT4.

The Speedworks #227 car would see the return of Devon Model, John Gilbert, Ollie Hancock alongside newcomer Will Schryver whilst the JWB #221 would field a highly competitive driver line up of team regulars Kieran Griffin and Jake Giddings along with 2015 Oman Racing Vantage GT3 pairing of Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher.

With six Ginetta G55 GT4's locking out the first three rows in class on the starting grid  the #221 JWB would start in tenth whilst the Speedworks car would ultimately struggle in qualifying and would start down in twelfth in the highly competitive class of fifteen cars.

Come the start of the race the #221 would quickly dispatched a number of the Ginetta's that started ahead of them to run a very competitive second in class during the opening stints - the #227 Speedworks car would also climb the timing charts and would be up to sixth by the time of the first (of many) Code 60's.

With the long, dark Middle Eastern night soon upon them the #227 Speedworks car experienced a catastrophic failure in the front right quarter that driver Ollie Hancock was reportedly very fortunate to save and be able to recover the car to the pits just before the half way mark. The elongated repairs in the garage would see Shryver exit pit lane down in twelfth.

At the half way point the #221 JWB would be in seventh but 4 laps down to the class leader whilst the #227 Speedworks would be twelfth but 25 laps down relative to the class leader.

With the #221 JWB car, a car that had incidentally 'found its feet' after a dogged year in British GT with Jake Giddings and Kieran Griffin would still be running their own race, moving up and down the timing charts as the stints/caution periods ebbed and flowed. Just after the 16hour mark however minor contact out on track would see the #227 Speedworks car back in the garage, this time with terminal gearbox/transmission failure. A crushing consequence for a team that had been made to work so hard.

Entering into the final hour of the race the #221 JWB still had a battle on its hand for the final step on the class podium with fellow British GT team Optimum Motorsport just 20 seconds behind.

Come the chequered flag however, Optimums own technical challenges would have seen them dropped back to allow the JWB car to finish a highly commendable third in SP3 and on a podium that would also be locked out with British GT GT4 cars and drivers.

Many congratulations to the #221 JWB Motorsport team.

Whilst it is expected that Speedworks are again a full 24H Series entry there are presently no confirmed AMR entries for the next round of the series at Mugello in March.

Photo credits - Creventic / Speedworks / JWB

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