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Christian Engelhart stages an impressive comeback in Dubai

Dubai, 01-13-2019

Christian Engelhart and his Grasser Racing Team GRT and teammates Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti and Mark Ineichen have made their first mark of the year thanks to a brilliant comeback. Going into the Dubai 24 Hours from pole position, they eventually finished in fourth after a setback during the night.

The team laid the foundation for their goal of winning the race by capturing pole position in qualifying. After 24 eventful and stressful hours, the quartet crossed the line in fourth. That was a superb result in view of what happened in the race and was enabled by a sensational comeback and a magnificent team performance.

As is traditional, the classic 24-hour race began on Friday afternoon. Christian’s teammate Mirko Bortolotti held on to first spot to begin with and from then on was involved in exciting tussles with the Audis behind him. When Christian took over behind the wheel for the first time, he was in second, but was able to recapture the lead for 45 minutes after a duel.

Fighting spirit and huge effort are rewarded

However, a bitter setback occurred after just under four hours. Without any warning, a competitor slid into the side of Rolf Ineichen while overtaking and damaged the rear axle of his car number 63. He had to make a stop for repairs and a further control stop during a Code 60 phase. The initial favorites to win fell back to 29th as a result.

From then on, they had to drive at full throttle and go on the attack. The crew had fought its way back up to ninth by midway through the race and clocked lap times matching those of the leaders. In the end, an emotional fourth place was the reward for an energy-sapping and intense kickoff to the season, which also marked the farewell race for the “old” Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Christian will line up in the further developed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO for the first time in his next race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, at the end of the month.

Christian Engelhart about the Dubai 24 Hours: “I can take a lot of positives away from Dubai. We were in contention for the lead from the start. The team did a really great job and even gave us an edge thanks to our good strategy. Unfortunately, our car hit another during the night through no fault of our own and repairing it cost us too much time for us to be able to stand a chance of winning. All the same, we never gave up and fought our way back into fourth. I really enjoyed my time on the track and am delighted about the successful start to the season. It goes without saying that I want to come back next year and finally win Dubai a second time.”