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99 Racing Takes Asian Le Mans Series Victory in Dubai

(Photo: Ian Chicken)

Victory in Race Three of the 2023/24 Asian Le Mans Series, the 4 Hours of Dubai, went to the 99 Racing #99 ORECA driven by Ahmad Al Harthy, Nikita Mazepin and, taking the chequered flag, Louis Delétraz. Pushing hard right up to the end and just under four seconds behind was Julien Andlauer in the #22 Proton Competition entry in the car he shared with Georgio Roda and Rene Binder.

(Photo: Ian Chicken)

Completing the top three was #4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR car crewed by George Kurtz, Malthe Jakobsen and Colin Braun, Jakobsen bringing the car home just over three seconds behind Andlauer.

The LMP3 class was won by the COOL Racing Ligier driven by Alex Bukhantsov and James Winslow, Winslow bringing the #17 car home ahead of Fabian Lavergne in the #2 CD Sport entry he shared with Michael Jensen and Nick Adcock. The podium positions were completed by the #2- High Class Racing entry crewed by Audunn Gudmundsson, Anders Fjordbach and Seth Lucas.

Pure Rxcing took the class victory in the GT class with Klaus Bachler taking the chequered flag in the #91 Porsche 911 GT3 R less than a second ahead of Fabian Schiller in the #7 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO the German pilot shared with Al Faisal Al Zubair and Anthony Liu.

The top three finishers in the GT were completed by the #21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3, Davide Rigon taking the chequered flag in the car he shared with Simon Mann and Francois Heriau.

There was drama within seconds of the start of the four-hour contest when Alexandre Coigny, at the wheel of the #47 COOL Racing Oreca spun, causing an incident which saw the #65 Viper Niza Racing Ligier driven by Douglas Khoo and the #69 Optimum Motorsport McLaren piloted by Janes Cottingham sustain damage, resulting in a safety car.

(Photo: Ian Chicken)

When the race got underway, the #90 TF Sport ORECA driven by Salih Yoluc who led, followed by Al Harthy in the #99 99 Racing entry. With two and a half hours left, the #99 car led but as the race entered the final 30 minutes, Julian Andlauer in the #22 Proton Competition entry was pushing hard and closed the gap to the Delétraz in the #99 car to less than a second. In the closing laps Andlauer looked as if he could find a way past but eventually had to settle for second with a gap of 3.499 seconds.

(Photo: Ian Chicken)

In the LMP3 class Alex Bukhanstov in the #17 COOL Racing Ligier took the opening stint and pulled out a lead with Audunn Gudmundsson in the #20 High Class Racing holding on to second place. James Winslow took the second stint in the COOL Racing entry and he quickly passed the #26 car and put the #17 car back into the class lead. Faben Lavergne in the #2 CD Sport Ligier caught and passed Mihnea Stefan in the #26 car for second with 30 minutes remaining. Anders Fjordbach in the #20 High Class Racing entry passed Stefan on the closing laps to take the final podium position.

Anthony Liu, at the wheel of the #7 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes led the GT class for the first half of the race, handing over to Al Zubair who remained in second. The #91 Pure Rxcing Porsche too the class lead following the re-start after a second full course yellow. As the race entered the final hour it was a battle between Bachler in the #91 Porsche and Fabian Schiller in the #7 Mercedes with the Bachler holding on for the class win by less than a second.

(Photo: Ian Chicken)

With two races remaining, Louis Deletraz and Nikita Mazepin lead the LMP2 driver standings on 68 points, 20 points ahead of Colin Braun, George Kurtz and Malthe Jakobsen. Giogio Roda, Julien Andlauer and René Binder are third on 43 points.

The LMP3 drivers standing are led by Alex Bukhantsov and James Winslow on 66 points, five ahead of Fabien Lavergne, Michael Jensen and Nick Adcock.

Alex Malykhin, Joel Sturm and Klaus Bachler lead the GT standings on 58 points, 14 ahead of Alban Varutti, Christopher Haase and Gilles Magnus.

The 2023/24 Asian Le Mans Series now travels to Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the final two races of the championship on February 10 and 11.