© Ryan Ratcliffe 2017
Produced by Abbott Designs Ltd
GULF 12 HOURS
Yas Marina -
Secure Gulf 12 Hours Class Podium
Optimum Motorsport looked set to secure GT Pro Am class victory in the Gulf 12 Hours this evening (17 December, 2016) under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, only for a suspension issue to dash its hopes with just two hours remaining, forcing the team to settle with the runner-
Joe Osborne, Ryan Ratcliffe and Flick Haigh shared driving duties in the #75 Audi R8 LMS GT3 and finished a fine second in the first segment of the 12-
The team returned to the race action, taking the checkered flag second in class and sixth overall.
“While it’s a podium, it’s obviously a disappointing result for us – we could have won,” said Optimum Motorsport Team Principal Shaun Goff. “We had a tough start with the early stop for the wheel issue and then having to double stop late in the first race to meet the stop requirements.
Then in this race we were in third overall and leading the class only for us to have this suspension issue. It lost us the win and potential overall podium. Still, on the positive, we were fast and all three drivers had great races.
Joe is Joe, it was Flick’s first time here and she put in very impressive times, while Ryan was able to further build our lead at a crucial time. The team worked so hard and it’s just a shame we didn’t get the result we feel we deserved.”
The Gulf 12 Hours is split into two races of six hours each. Following the first stint, the team were relatively content with second position in class. Never one to miss an opportunity, Osborne quickly dispatched Andrea Rizzoli in the #51 Ferrari at the restart to take fifth position and lead the class with just under six hours remaining.
Very much game-
Ratcliffe took over for the second stint and the young Welsh racer was able to maintain, and then further extend the gap over the next 75-
Osborne’s second stint saw him running at the head of the class and third on the road overall and despite pressure from the #16 Renault driven by Stuart Hall, maintained position until pitting with two hours and 15 minutes remaining.
Haigh completed a lap at reduced pace but Osborne was reporting a suspension issue. “We had a couple of wheel nuts come lose this weekend,” he said. “We boxed and couldn’t see anything on my last stop, so perhaps it’s the shock.”
Rapid repairs to the right-
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