Gordon-Colebrooke & Century Motorsport Kick-Start 2019 With An Impressive Top 10 Finish!
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke made the 7,000 kilometre journey from the United Kingdom to the United Arab Emirates for the 14th Hankook Dubai 24H endurance race with Century Motorsport as part of his winter racing program. Andrew and his team showed fantastic pace all weekend but were sadly hit with a mechanical issue which ended their chances of a top 3 finish. Andrew and his team never gave up though and finished the Dubai 24H race in a fantastic 7th place. Andrew Gordon-colebrooke and the Century Motorsport team kicked off their 2019 racing season in the exciting and glamorous emirate of Dubai with the 2019 Hankook Dubai 24 hour endurance race. The team elected to run on the Wednesday as part of a private test day organised by the 24H Series. This gave Andrew and his team extra time to work on the car and to make sure that the drivers felt comfortable on track.“I always enjoy coming back to the Dubai Autodrome, I think it’s a great circuit and I can’t wait to get back out on track.” The weekend started off well for Andrew who completed almost 20 laps over the course of the first two official practice sessions on Thursday and started to show good pace. “My first run in the car went really well, the tyres were quite worn by the time I got my turn in the car, but I still felt comfortable and it was a positive start to the weekend.” Andrew’s teammate and team manager Nathan Freke was nominated to qualify the car and put the #429 Webheads BMW M4 GT4 in 5th position in the GT4 category. “We can definitely race from 5th but if history teaches us anything it’s that qualifying means very little in this race. It’s a 24 hour race so that means we must try to stay out of trouble.” There was no time to relax as a busy Thursday concluded with the compulsory night time practice session. Andrew completed his mandatory two laps in the pitch black before handing the car over to his teammates for the rest of the session. “It’s absolutely mad! You can’t see anybody in your blindspot when you are out there in the dark and that’s quite worrying when you know there are GT3 cars on track with you. Okay, the final sector is slightly lit up but it doesn’t make a big difference.” After completing a successful and trouble free morning warm-up session the race got underway right on time and for the first part of the race the team managed to run at a consistent pace and remain in the top 10.
Andrew’s first stint came just before 7pm which meant that he would be taking the first session of the night. The Englishman put in a really good first stint and was able to work his Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 up in to 4th place before handing the car back to Nathan Freke. “The car felt really good, that was a lot of fun but it’s all about staying out of trouble at this point.” However, just before 11pm at the #429 Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 suffered a wheel hub failure and fell back to 11th position in the GT4 class. “It was really frustrating to have that failure, we were looking very strong, but there are still eleven hours to go so we just need to keep chipping away and make sure we stay out of trouble. Massive thank you to the mechanics who worked so hard to get the car back out in less than 30 minutes.” The rest of the race turned into a ‘recovery drive’ for Andrew Gordon-colebrooke and his teammates JM Littman, Thomas Canning and Nathan Freke. As the sun began to rise “Happy Hour” (a time in which the track is at its peak condition and drivers can typically set their fastest laps) dawned on the race. The drivers of the #429 BMW M4 GT4 car set an impressive pace to put them back in touch with their closest rivals as the 13 hours of intense night racing came to an end. Andrew and the rest of his teammates then faced the challenge of trying to survive the final quarter of the race which saw a number of cars from different classes drop out thanks to mechanical failures and accidents. Fortunately, Andrew managed to stay out of trouble and handed the car back to his teammates who would bring the car home for the 14th annual Dubai 24H endurance race in 7th position in the GT4 category.