George Murrells and his Optimum Motorsport team-mates Lee Mowle, Joe Osborne and Gary Simms took a sensational class victory in the gruelling Dubai 24 Hour race.
Driving the Optimum-prepared Ginetta G50 GT4, the team stormed to a sensational GT4/SP3 class win, finishing in fourteenth place overall from 74 starters. The result was particularly special for Murrells, the former Ginetta Supercup racer taking victory in his first ever 24 hour encounter.
Osborne took the race start and settled the car into second position in class, however contact with a Porsche during the next stint with Mowle at the wheel caused an unscheduled 17 minute pit stop to make repairs.
This dropped the car to twelfth in class, but a strong couple of stints by Simms and Murrells saw the team up to third in class, before with Osborne back at the wheel, the team took the class lead for the first time in the eighth hour.
During Simms' second stint though, more contact with the same Porsche as earlier caused another unscheduled pitstop. Great work by the team though meant that when Simms returned to the track, the class lead was intact and as sunrise approached, the team started to stretch their lead.
With four hours to go, the team were seven laps ahead of their rivals and after a smooth stint for Osborne, Murrells took to the wheel for the final 90 minutes. A clean stint meant Murrells came home to cross the line fourteenth, finishing eleven laps ahead of his closest class rival, the team completing nine more laps than the class winner did in last year's event.
Commenting on the win, Murrells said: “This is a tremendous way to start the 2012 season, and winning on my debut in a 24 hour race is a treat. The result is testament to the preparation and pit stops by Optimum Motorsport and great work on the track by all the drivers.”
Next up for Murrells and the team is testing of the new Ginetta G55 GT3 through February and March ahead of the first round of the British Endurance Championship (Britcar) at Silverstone on March 24th.