The #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R leads the 15th running of the Dubai 24 Hours after an hour of racing.
Sven Muller took the start in the #91 for the German team, and took the lead briefly after four minutes of racing from Maro Engel in the pole-sitting #777 Toksport WRT Mercedes.
But it didn’t last long, as Engel would snatch it back before Maxi Buhk quickly made an astonishing move for the lead round the outside of Buhk and Muller in the #84 HTP Winward Mercedes AMG GT3 through traffic, to go from third to first.
From there the chase was on, between Buhk and Muller. Muller hung with Buhk but couldn’t get past until the very end of the hour when he made the move at Turn 10 to give Herberth the lead heading into Hour 2.
Third after an hour of racing was Dennis Lind in the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Lind was arguably the driver of the opening stint, steering the #77 from 14th on the grid to third, making multiple daring moves to put the British team into the battle for the lead by the end of the hour before pitting.
Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3, which lost its front-row grid slot after it was handed a three-place grid penalty because the team’s drivers didn’t complete their mandatory practice and night laps, is fourth. The Dutchman sat third until Lind found a way through towards the end of the hour.
The top five is completed by the #70 Toksport WRT Mercedes of Axcil Jefferies, which leads GT3 AM and is the better placed of the two AMG GT3s from the team after Engel slipped from the lead to seventh during the hour. The #7 MS7 WRT Audi is sixth
There was one GT3 casualty in the hour, the #24 GPX Porsche, which had a big off at Turn 1 in the opening laps. Dirk Werner was at the wheel and sustained heavy front and left-side damage to the car, which became the first of the 65 cars that took the start to retire as a result of the damage.
Outside of the GT3 ranks, the #710 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Super Trofeo leads GTX, by quite a margin too after the #788 Dragon Racing Lamborghini had to make an unscheduled stop from second after a left-rear puncture.
The #469 Hofor Racing BMW M4 GT4 leads GT4. Three M4 GT4s sit in the top four in the class, broken up by the #462 Mercedes AMG GT4 of Ciceley Motorsport which is running second.
In TCE, the pole-sitting CWS Ginetta G55 leads and is ahead of two GT cars in 41st place overall. The #111 Lestrup Racing VW Golf GTi sits atop the TCR class, ahead of the #131 TOPCAR Cupra and #188 AC Motorsport Audi.
23 hours remaining…
Photo courtesy of Porsche Customer Racing