Teamwork and determination secures debut Dubai 24h podium
A huge team effort by the 7TSIX crew and drivers at the Hankook 24H Dubai saw the #76 McLaren deliver an impressive performance, securing pole position and the final position on the Am class podium. An early mechanical issue meant shift in strategy, but quick work by the pitcrew set up a dogged recovery by the whole team to climb back up the order.
After securing pole position for the team’s 24-hour race debut, a mechanical setback saw the #76 McLaren limp back to the pits during the opening stint. The crew set to work, quickly diagnosing the issue and making the necessary repairs, replacing a failed damper and completing a full tyres and fuel service in just 8 minutes. This significant effort ensured minimal time loss against the grid of more than 50 cars assembled at Dubai Autodrome.
Despite the setback, the driver quartet of James Cottingham, Andrew Gilbert, Matúš Výboh and Fran Rueda echoed the speed and efficiency of the pitcrew, quickly settling into a rhythm and working on minimising the effects of the situation. The result saw the #76 McLaren 720S GT3 quickly onto the back of the field and then steadily moving back up through the traffic.
This strong pace continued, and the Yorkshire-based team worked to optimise the strategy from the pitwall as the race was regularly brought under Code 60 full course caution. With a series of strong strategy calls and consistently quick pace from the four drivers, the sole McLaren entry was running comfortably through the darkness, P2 in the Am class and had climbed the order as high as P11 overall. However, as three-quarters distance passed, and dawn broke over the Dubai Autodrome, the team were dealt a further blow. A further technical issue required investigation, dropping the team down the overall order, but the early effort and pace minimised the setback. At the flag, the team secured the final podium finish and were classified P40 overall.