Thursday, 23 January 2014

Long Distance Runners in Dubai

The Dunlop Dubai 24 hours was an enthralling affair, and it was delightful to see Stadler Motorsport taking the spoils of victory. I'll confess to a feeling of Schadenfreude when misfortune struck the big teams - not that there are works teams, but it is undoubtedly true that there is factory interest in the goings-on at several of the pit garages, and to see a truly private team triumph in those circumstances is never a bad thing... pour encourager les autres - to be rather polyglot.

I walked down the pit lane after the race, and found the Stadler Motorsport team celebrating their victory, and it was a joy to behold. The delight of the “little man” when he overcomes the odds and triumphs against the “big guy” is easy to understand, and – the vagaries of the Creventic regulations aside – it was hard to find anyone who didn’t enjoy seeing the Swiss team savouring their win. To say it was like a lottery win would be unfair: although luck played its part in the win, the car was, as Rolf Ineichen noted, dirty but unscathed – throughout the 24 hours it had had no contact with anything – neither the barriers nor another car. It may not have been the fastest, but all five drivers conscientiously stayed out of trouble.

In my dailysportscar article, I pointed out that the lion’s share of the driving was done by Rolf Ineichen and Christian Engelhart, and I thought that here might be a good place to develop that theme a little, by looking at the number of laps completed by each driver in the race. The top ten, in terms of number of laps driven, were as follows:

No. Car Driver Laps km miles
38 Mercedes Marc Basseng 249 1,344 834
20 Porsche Rolf Ineichen 247 1,334 827
888 Ferrari Jordan Grogor 219 1,182 733
38 Mercedes Rob Huff 214 1,155 717
10 Lamborghini Jeroen Mul 207 1,118 693
30 Ferrari Jan Magnussen 205 1,107 687
9 Porsche Emmanuel Collard 188 1,015 630
30 Ferrari Matt Griffin 188 1,015 630
20 Porsche Christian Engelhart 187 1,010 626
2 Mercedes Adam Christodoulou 185 999 620

It is also interesting to note that 5 drivers did duty in two cars: the most notable of whom were probably Jeroen Bleekemolen and Khaled Al Qubaisi, who both drove both of the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS entries. Compared to the drivers above though, they were relative lightweights, completing just 163 and 134 laps respectively in total.

Javier Morcillo only just failed to break into the top ten above: he drove 52 laps in the no. 28 Team LNT Ginetta and 119 in the no. 127 KPM Golf, making a total of 171 laps altogether - more than nine hours measured in terms of time at the wheel. That is practically the same time that Basseng spent at the wheel, admittedly driving a lot faster, and covering around 200 miles further, but nevertheless a mighty effort. Interestingly, in a reciprocal agreement, Paul White did double-duty in the same two cars, but only did 66 laps in the Ginetta and 54 in the Golf.

For completeness, the other competitor who drove in two cars was Ralf Oeverhaus, who drove the no. 27 BMW Z4 for 128 laps and the no. 159 Bonk Motorsport BMW M3 for 34 laps.

All fascinating stuff, and if I weren't so busy doing other things, I might ramble on for longer.

I always welcome your comments and encouragement though, so please leave messages below!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul enjoy your analysis as always.