Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon have been confirmed as starting on pole position for the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi.
It was initially #12 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 which set the best average time of 2:11.082 but with one driver – Kola Aluko – not being able to compete in the qualifying session means that the car won’t be able to start the race tomorrow.
The disqualification allowed the Mercedes SLS of Bernd Schneider, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Khaled Al Qubaisi to move up from second to first with the second of four Kessel machines starting second.
Local man Qubaisi became the first Emirati to score pole at the event held at Yas Marina stating: “It’s really nice to get pole when you don’t expect it. We had problems earlier and were a bit off the pace compared to the Ferraris so we are really happy. We’re only half a tenth quicker than the guys behind us so it’s not going to be easy and it’s definitely one of the closest qualifying sessions I’ve been a part of.”
Another team which scored a good result was the Bentley Continental GT3, scoring a fifth place in its first qualifying session at the hands of Guy Smith with the hope of better things to come in the race: “I’m really impressed with the progress of the car so far, we’re not expecting too much given that it’s the car’s first outing, but we are happy.
“Compared to the sports cars I’ve driven in the past, this feels massive with the giant cockpit and all that glass so it’s a totally different experience but one I’m really enjoying.”
In the prototype CN class, there is unfortunately another team that won’t be making the start – the Wolf GB08 of Alessandro Latif, Guglielmo Belotti and Ivan Bellarosa suffered an engine failure and had to withdraw from the race which starts at 5.30am UK time.