Renault UK Clio Cup racer Alex Sedgwick secured a top ten class finish on his endurance racing debut in the 2016 Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai.
Sedgwick, who took part in the final two rounds of the 2015 UK Clio Cup season, linked up with the Preptech team for his first ever round-the-clock race, driving their third-generation Clio.
The 16 year old showed consistent pace across practice and qualifying prior to the race, which saw the team starting fifth in the A2 class and 88th overall in the 98 car field.
Sedgwick started the race in car and enjoyed a strong opening two hour stint to maintain their fifth place, before taking on his first ever night time racing a few hours later.
Following his third stint in the car, the team’s luck began to turn. First, a faulty ECU dropped them down to twelfth in class, before problems with the battery and the alternator lost them further ground.
Sedgwick returned to the wheel for the final thirty minutes and went on the attack, gaining two places to take the chequered flag seventh in class and 55th overall.
“Taking part in the Dubai 24 Hours and finishing my first 24 Hour race has been something I will never forget,” said Sedgwick, who was the youngest driver on the grid.
“It is like no race I had done before; it is both physically and mentally demanding. You have to drive at your maximum for up to two hours, deal with many different issues on the track, and keep repeating this during 24 hours.
“The race was very challenging, as you have to race hard but also deal with the different speeds of all the other cars. Racing at night was different. The reduced visibility is yet another obstacle to overcome but also fun.
“My final stint with 30 minutes to go was like the racing I am used to, and I gave it everything I could to catch the other cars so I could pay back the rest of the team for all their hard work.”