The DKR Engineering team of Charlie Eastwood, Ayhancan Guven and Salih Yoluc won the final race of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit to claim the Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Championship.
The late race at the Inter Europol Competition and Cool Racing paved the way for the Luxembourg-based DKR team to claim a first-ever LMP2 race victory and claim the title at the Centennial 24 Hours of Le Mans in June invitation.
Eastwood took the checkered flag 1.9 seconds ahead of Neil Jani in the 99 Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, also driven by Nikita Mazepin and pole-sitter Ahmad Alhasi.
DKR unexpectedly took the lead with 15 minutes to go when Interpol’s Oreca slowed down on suspected gearbox problems, with Cool cutting the shortest time on one of his mandatory 100-second pit stops And was punished by stop and go.
Eastwood was already in position to win by finishing third, although Jani’s overtaking would have turned the title around, meaning the Europol and Cool Racing drama took the pressure off DKR considerably.
The cool duo of Malthe Jakobsen and Alexandre Coigny ended up finishing third in the race, second in points after their car was late.
Algarve Pro Racing finished fourth, ahead of two United Autosports Orecas.
The No. 22 United took the lead at opening time, with Peugeot LMH ace Paul di Resta comfortably finishing the bronze driver who started the other cars.
Di Resta leads Inter Europol driver Christian Bogle by around 40 seconds, with Al Harthy third and Yoluc fourth.
Momentum then turned to the No. 43 Inter Europol Oreca as Charles Kruse passed di Resta’s navigator Jim McGuire in the final corner of the second hour.
Halfway through that hour, the race was interrupted by the only full yellow period, as Belen Garcia spun into Turn 9 and crashed into another LMP3 competitor.
After FCY and its associated pit stop round, Crews held the overall lead with Mazepin just 6 seconds behind and Guven in third.
Mazepin braked past Crews into Turn 5 and built a 16-second advantage in the lead, while Guven moved up to second.
However, Interpol was back at the front when Nolan Siegel replaced Crews and despite an aggressive defense from the former Formula 1 driver, the American The convertible prospect passed Mazepin on the long straight.
Inter Europol held on to the lead after the final pit stop, with Cool jumping ahead of DKR, who then jumped into the lead when the car ahead had problems.
Graff Racing provisionally beat MV2S Racing for the LMP3 class title after the two teams ended the four-race season on equal points.
MV2S continued to fight for the title until Cool Racing’s Marcos Siebert passed Jerome de Sadeleer with a minute and a half left.
That gave MV2S and the race-winning Graff team of Xavier Lloveras, Fabrice Rossello and Francois Heriau 73 points each, but the title went in Graff’s direction as its No. 8 Ligier scored more points than the MV2S Ligier over the course of the season. Much second place.
Walkenhorst drives BMW to GT3 victory
Nicky Catsburg, Chandler Hull and Thomas Merrill claimed the GT3 title for BMW team Walkenhorst Motorsport, who finished the season with a 100% podium finish in second.
Catsburg initially looked to have won the race when Haupt Racing Team’s No. 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo made a fuel-only pit stop, but the Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 should also cause a stir.
HRT’s Luca Stolz went on to win with Al Faisal Al Zubair and Martin Konrad as Catsburg pitted for a quick service of his car.
However, HRT’s win wasn’t enough, as Walkenhorst already had a solid lead at last weekend’s race at the Dubai Autodrome.
Mercedes-AMG’s GetSpeed Performance and HubAuto Racing came third and fourth, while Lamborghini’s Leipert Motorsport rounded out the top five.
result: Abu Dhabi second game