An entertaining Gulf 12hr to look forward to tomorrow with two AMR GT4's

Friday, December 13, 2019

Whilst the 'big boys' go about their business over in the WEC in Bahrain, the Pro-Am runners aboard the two Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 runners have certainly been enjoying themselves as they prepare themselves for tomorrow's start of the Gulf 12Hours from Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

Last time entered winners of the then GTX class , Generation AMR SuperRacing have returned to the scene of their 2017 class win with one of James Holders David Appleby Engineering prepared AMR Vantage GT4's alongside Matt George and Steve Tandy.

They have been joined by one of Optimum Motorsports own AMR Vantage GT4's for a new trio of amateur ranked customer drivers as each work to determine whether or not they buy such a chassis of their own for their own respective race programmes or indeed elevate their racing career up to that of GT4.

Whilst David Holloway has raced this car at the last round of the GT Cup Series with Optimum, this weekends race is the first aboard an AMR for both American SRO GT4 America racer Michael Dinan and BMW tiptop graduate David Whitmore.

Starting with private testing on Wednesday, the Optimum trio have come on leaps and bounds under the watchful eye of teams race engineer guru Bas Leinders to be collectively able to pick themselves up from the rear of the GT4 field to that of mid table and periodic fastest drivers in class.

Having all run through three Free Practice sessions after a compulsory night session, each driver faced their own Qualifying session in order to determine their aggregate time that would be used to define their starting position.

Whitmore would be out first alongside Tandy in Q1 and it was the enthusiastic BMW driver who stole top AMR honours over the historic prototype driver to claim a P4 over Tandy's P5 in Class. Next out was Dinan who would take on Holder for the American to claim P1 over holders P5 before (and finally) George was out and up against Holloway in Q3 where the Q2 honours were reversed between the two AMR's.

That all equated into an aggregate lap time of 2:23:378 for the #44 Generation AMR crew which was good enough for a P3 start in class half a second behind the class leading SVC Mercedes GT4 whilst the #15 Optimum car finished with an overall time of 2:24:737 for a P6 starting position just over two seconds back from the class leader.

09:30Hrs local tomorrow sees the start of the first half of the Gulf 12Hr race before a short interlude with the start of the second half beginning at 17:30hrs local. The thirty one runners are split between seven classes and prototypes, GT, GT3 and GT4 classes to make for the hallmarks of another great race - racing from day to night around a picturesque backdrop of a marina circuit.

Photo credits - Gulf 12hr / Generation AMR / Optimum

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