2 Seas Motorsport wins Gulf 12 Hours
Photo Credit: Gulf 12 Hours

2 Seas Motorsport wins Gulf 12 Hours

The 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Isa Alkhalifa, Ben Barnicoat and Martin Kodrić secured the victory in the 10th edition of Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi.

Having led a team 1-2 in the opening six hours of the race, an issue for the sister #66 Mercedes with just over two hours remaining, forced it into the garage allowing the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 to un-lap itself and take second position with Dominik Baumann, Christopher Lenz e Valentin Pierburg.

The #46 VR46 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Luca Marini, Uccio Salucci and David Fumanelli also made its way up the order, demoting the #66 Mercedes to fourth overall and from first to third in the ProAm class.

The early stages of the second part of the race were the most entertaining. As the #1 Mercedes sprinted clear in the hands of Barnicoat following a full brake calliper change during the interval, the #66 sister car lost its second place almost immediately to the #88 Mercedes of Dominik Baumann, while the #46 Ferrari of Salucci bolted up the inside of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 of Alessandro Cozzi.

The #99 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS, which suffered gearbox failure in the opening six hours, returned with a fresh ‘box and a resurgent Dries Vanthoor. The Belgian driver, in the knowledge that the car was stone last and more than 50 laps behind the leading Mercedes, was on a charge. He scythed through the field, quickly making his way up to and past Ben Barnicoat in the #1 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG, setting multiple fastest laps on his way.

The #46 Ferrari meanwhile, was also on a charge. Fumanelli consistently reduced the gap to the #88 SPS Mercedes at an incredible rate. And his efforts were rewarded when the #66 2 Seas Mercedes-AMG was forced into the garage. A small portion of the car’s skid block had dropped towards the tarmac, creating sparks for several laps before it was beckoned into the pits. That promoted the #88 SPS and #46 VR46 up a place, demoting the #66 to fourth. That became fifth place when the charging #51 Ferrari of Eddie Cheever III went by Ian Loggie.

In the final hour, Barnicoat handed over to Kodrić to bring the #1 Mercedes-AMG home and score back-to-back victories following their 2021 Gulf 12 Hours Bahrain victory. But the focus was on the battle for remaining top four positions, with Baumann back behind the #88 SPS, Fumanelli in the #46 VR46 and Cheever remaining in the #51 Ferrari. Cheever’s challenge was the only one to faulter; a loose driver’s door prompting a pit stop that lost the car a place to Casper Stevenson’s #66 Mercedes-AMG. It resulted in the #88 SPS Mercedes-AMG scoring the GT3 ProAm class victory in second place overall. The VR46 Ferrari took third, its second overall Gulf 12 Hours podium in three appearances and second in the ProAm class.

Stevenson took the chequered flag fourth overall in the #66 Mercedes-AMG and stepped on to the bottom step of the ProAm podium, completing an outstanding GT race debut for the 18-year-old, with the #51 Ferrari fifth overall and fourth in ProAm. The Baron Motorsport Ferrari 488 Challenge faded in the second part of the race to finish fifth in class. The #75 Sun Energy 1 by SPS Automotive Performance GT3 Pro car finished a distant sixth place overall, two laps down on Cheever’s Ferrari.


GULF 12 HOURS 2022

1. Isa Alkhalifa/Ben Barnicoat/Martin Kodrić (2 Seas Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3) 359 laps 1st GT3 PRO

2. Dominik Baumann/Christoph Lenz/Valentin Pierburg (SPS Automotive Performance, Mercedes-AMG GT3) 1 lap 1st GT3 PRO-AM

3. David Fumanelli/Luca Marini/Alessio Salucci (VR46, Ferrari 488 GT3) 1 lap

4. John Loggie/Casper Stevenson/Morgan Tillbrook (2 Seas Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG GT3) 2 laps

5. Eddie Cheever III/Alessandro Cozzi/Tani Hanna/Giorgio Sernagiotto (AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GT3) 2 laps

6. Maro Engel/Mikaël Grenier/Kenny Habul (SPS Automotive Performance, Mercedes-AMG GT3) 4 laps

7. Trenton Estep/Conrad Grunewald/Mark Kvamme/Jeanclaude Saada (AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GT3) 4 laps 1st GT3 G

8. Jérome Policand/Benjamin Ricci/Mauro Ricci (AKKA ASP, Mercedes-AMG GT3) 4 laps

9. Philipp Baron/Tommy Lindroth/Mikkel Mac (Baron Motorsport, Ferrari 488 GT3) 5 laps

10. Murat Cuhadaroglu/Alessandro Tarabini/Erwin Zanotti/Francesco Zollo (Kessel Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3) 11 laps

11. Iain Campbell/Jamie Clarke/Oliver Webb (Greystone GT, McLaren 570S) 36 laps 1st GT4

12. Bradley Ellis/Piers Johnson/David Holloway (Century Motorsport, Aston Martin Vantage) 37 laps

13. Alexander Bukhanstov/John Corbett/Amir Feyzulin/James Winslow (Century Motorsport, BMW M4) 112 laps

14. Alex Aka/Murod Sultanov/Dries Vanthoor (Attempto Racing, Audi R8 LMS GT3) 178 laps

15. Mauro Calamia/Stefano Monaco/Roberto Pampanini (Kessel Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3) dnf

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