Porsche LMP1 driver Brendon Hartley wins Dubai 24 Hours

Porsche World Endurance Championship star Brendon Hartley won the first 24-hour race of his career, as Herberth Motorsport swept to a comfortable victory in the Dubai 24 Hours

Porsche LMP1 driver Brendon Hartley wins Dubai 24 Hours

In his second-ever GT race and his first in a 911 GT3-R, 2015 WEC champion Hartley and team-mates Robert Renauer, Alfred Renauer, Ralf Bohn and Daniel Allemann enjoyed a trouble-free run to emerge with a two-lap margin over the identical Manthey Racing Porsche.

"It was an awesome experience, the first time for me in a 911," said Hartley.

"I had a great team, great team-mates, I really enjoyed it.

"Hopefully that form will continue on to the WEC."

The two Porsche teams had exchanged the lead throughout the night until Manthey sustained damage during the 16th hour with gentleman driver Otto Klohs at the wheel.

The delays were significant enough to drop the car off the lead lap, although strong pace from Porsche factory driver Sven Mueller and Supercup rival Matteo Cairoli helped recover to second ahead of the sole remaining Team Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maro Engel, Yelmer Buurman, Hubert Haupt, Abdulaziz al Faisal and Michal Bronisewski.

The #2 Black Falcon Mercedes - which qualified on pole and led the first hour in the hands of Jeroen Bleekemolen - looked well-placed to capitalise on Manthey's misfortune, but was forced to retire when Khaled al-Qubaisi crashed just before daybreak.

That promoted the best of the Audis, run by British team Optimum Motorsport, to fourth despite a loss of power steering in the closing stages.

That made life hard work for Christopher Haase, Joe Osborne, Ryan Ratcliffe and Flick Haigh, while Optimum's Ginetta G55 took victory in the SP3-GT4 class, finishing 26th overall.

A6-Am honours went to the Horfor Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which finished seventh overall, while Oli Webb missed out on victory in the SPX class by just 35 seconds after charging from the back of the grid and having his race overalls stolen.

Meanwhile, two ex-Formula 1 drivers endured a difficult baptism to 24-hour racing.

Neither Robert Kubica's Forch Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R, which at one stage ran as high as second during the pitstop cycles, nor Jean-Eric Vergne's GP Extreme Renault RS01 would make the finish, as both suffered mechanical troubles in the early evening.

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