Ginetta began its 2014 season off in style, taking class honours at the Dubai 24 Hours and scooping the coveted Spirit of the Race award.
Four Ginetta GT machines headed to Dubai on the back foot following the tragic loss of lead engineer on the G55 GT3 project, Michael ‘Cushty’ Tallentire on December 23. However, the team vowed to complete the 24 hour race in memory of their colleague and friend.
Team LNT qualified fourth in the A6 AM class, with Mike Simpson, Lawrence Tomlinson, Javier Morcillo, Paul White and Adam Sharpe sharing the seat of the G55 GT3.
Simpson made a strong start, climbing up to seventh overall during his opening stint before handing over to Paul White, dropping down to 38th in the process. Strong stints from all drivers, halted only by ‘Code 60’ cautions, saw the team climb back up through the field, only to receive extensive damage as an innocent bystander in an incident between two rival cars.
Determined to take the flag in memory of Cushty, the team worked tirelessly to get the car back on track. Eventually finishing the race ninth in class, Team LNT secured the fastest target lap in the A6 AM class and earned the Spirit of the Race award for continuing where others may have given up.
Meanwhile, in the SP3 (GT4) class, the Ginetta G50 GT4 cars dominated, with the three of the front four positions occupied by Optimum Motorsports on pole and Speedworks Motorsport and Nova Race filling the second row.
Nova Race made a strong start, leading for the first half of the race before problems during the night forced them into the pits. Meanwhile, the Speedworks quartet of Tony Hughes, Christian Dick, Ross Warburton and Will Scully proved consistensy was key as they took victory at their first visit to the Dubai circuit.
The result was the second Ginetta G50 GT4 class win in three years, following Optimum’s win in 2012, and most importantly, honoured the driving force behind the GT project, Michael Tallentire, with victory.