Avelon Formula and Kessel Racing have stolen a march on their rivals as the first practice session for the Gulf 12 Hours got under way in Abu Dhabi.
Avelon – racing with a pair of Wolf GB08s in the CN prototype class – claimed the top spot with the #94 machine setting a storming time of 2:10.142 at the hands of driving trio Ryan Cullen, Alessandro Latif and Ivan Bellarosa.
Just behind though and only 1.2 seconds down was the first of four Kessel Racing Ferrari 458s with Michael Broniszewski, Daniel Zampieri and Cesar Ramos behind the wheel. Indeed it was a strong showing for Kessel who claimed four of the top six places – only AF Corse could do as well, a fourth place splitting the four machines.
Kessel will be hoping that this strong start to the Gulf 12 Hours will be a good omen for the race, so far AF Corse have won every race held at Yas Marina.
It was also a good day for Bentley, the M-Sport engineered car of Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick finished a respectable 8th place on the cars first run in anger following a 2013 season filled with testing.
The race is unique in endurance racing as it is actually two six hour races with a two hour gap in the middle. The first six hours starts at 9.30am local time which is an early rise of 5.30am for Brits.