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Mercedes-AMG will be looking to cement its fourth outright win at the Dubai 24 Hours this weekend, as the #2 Black Falcons AMG GT3 of Patrick Assenheimer, Manuel Metzger and former winners Khaled Al Qubaisi and Jeroen Bleekemolen took pole position ahead of the 24-hour enduro.
Bleekemolen, the event’s most successful driver to date with two wins and a second place, was the first to set a time under 1m 58s in the first ten minutes of the final session, the Dutchman’s 1m57.705s enough to nab the top spot on the grid by just over one tenth of a second.
Alongside the #2 Merc lies the #963 GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti, Chrtistian Engelhart, Rik Breukers, and Rolf and Mark Ineichen. Last year, the then-brand new Mercedes-AMG GT3 had to give best to a dominant performance by the Audi R8 LMS, although Belgian Audi Club WRT’s chances of a repeat victory were dealt a temporary blow when the #4 of Enzo Ide, Robin Frijns, Christopher Mies, Ruben Maes and 2016 winner Stuart Leonard could only manage 9th on the grid. The #911 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 of Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn, Robert and Alfred Renauer, and 2016 World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley meanwhile squeak into third, just over twotenths behind the polesitter. The first Audi entry comes in the shape of Optimum Motorsport’s #14 R8 LMS, Joe Osborne, Flick Haigh, Ryan Ratcliffe and Christopher Haase pipping the second Black Falcon AMG GT3 to fourth on the grid.
The SPX and A6-AM category polesitter are line-astern on row eight, with the #204 Vortex V8 just pipping the A6-Am-running #17 IDEC SPORT RACING Mercedes-AMG GT3. Further down the card, the #63 race:pro motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 takes pole in the 911 class, just one row ahead of the SP2-spec polesitters Bovi Motorsport in their #207 Brokernet Silver Sting.
For full qualifying results and the Dubai 24 Hours grid, you can check out the main 24HSERIES website HERE, and for LIVE STREAMING, be sure to check out both the link above and the Radio Le Mans live commentary.