Organisers of the inaugural Gulf 12 Hours event in Abu Dhabi have heaped praise on Avon Tyres Motorsport, which supplied control race tyres for the entire field at the race on 20 January.
The event, held at the Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit, featured GT3 cars and CN2-class sports prototypes competing in a pair of six-hour races, the first of which took place in the heat of the day, with the second under floodlights in the evening.
Gulf 12 Hours promoter, Andrea Ficarelli, said, “Although we approached Avon quite late and our entry list included changes right up until the last air cargo shipment from the UK, Avon was remarkably flexible and brought the right tyres for everybody.”
Ficarelli added that he will look to engage Avon for the second running of the Gulf 12 Hours, scheduled to take place at Yas Marina on December 15, 2012.
Ivan Bellarosa put his Avelon Wolf CN2-class car on pole, while Ireland’s Matt Griffin – a regular in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship – set the fastest GT3 time in AF Corse’s Ferrari, 1.5 seconds slower than Bellarosa.
When the race began, the pole position car fell out of the running with gearbox trouble while the AF Corse Ferrari of Griffin, Marco Cioci and Piergiuseppe Perazzini became involved in a three-way battle for victory with the United Autosports Audi R8 of Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow and Enzo Potolicchio and the Kessel Racing Ferrari of Philipp Peter, Michal Broniszewski, Antonio Coimbra and Miguel Ramos.
Despite dropping a lap down in the first race after stopping to change its brake pads, the Audi pulled itself up the order and into the lead when the safety car came out 40 minutes from the end. As racing resumed, Cioci blasted ahead of the Audi and took victory for AF Corse, as the Kessel Ferrari also moved ahead into the second slot.
The winning margin after 12 hours was 2.6 seconds, with 10 seconds covering the top three.
Ficarelli was extremely pleased with Avon’s involvement in the race. "We chose Avon Tyres Motorsport because we wanted a tyre supplier who could supply the full variety of sizes we needed for both classes of racing,” he commented.
"The feedback from the teams in terms of tyre performance and consistency has been extremely positive, so we look forward to renewing our agreement with Avon Tyres Motorsport for the second edition of the Gulf 12 Hours.”