Fenny Compton based Century Motorsport have won the grueling 24 hours of Dubai, a real test of man and machine with almost 100 entries. Their victory is all the more noteworthy, as this is the team’s first ever 24-hour race.
Complimenting their success is their second car in the event which also performed well mechanically over the 24 hours to finish seventh in class with drivers Ollie Jackson, David Pattison, Ruben Anakhasyan and Jake Rattenbury.
Anna Walewska, Nathan Freke, Tom Oliphant and Aleksander Schjerpen in their #229 University of Bolton, Mulgari Automotive, Vålerbanen, Garage15, NAF Motorsport Vålerbanen, and Bandera supported Ginetta G55 GT4, set the tone during the week, topping the timesheets in two of the four free practice sessions before qualifying their car late on Thursday evening in second place for the race on Friday.
Starting at 14:00 local time on Friday, a fuel tank issue and a premature brake pad failure were the only major issues to effect the class winning #229 Ginetta, while crash damage during the night hampered the storming performance of the sister #230 G55.
During the night, Nathan Freke and Tom Oliphant, both of whom have previous 24 Hour racing experience carried out the majority of the dark nighttime driving, before Aleksander Schjerpen climbed on board as dawn approached.
Following a brake pad replacement at the 18 hour mark, it was plain sailing for all four drivers, with University of Bolton supported Anna Walewska taking charge of the #229 Ginetta G55 for the final stint to take the chequered flag and secure their very first Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai victory.
Anna Walewska – #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“I am absolutely thrilled, the team and car did an excellent job. The car was faultless other than one minor fuelling issue. I drove with a quality line up and my thanks to all the drivers for doing such a superb job. My first Dubai 24H and we won. A great start to the year with Century Motorsport. My thanks to The University of Bolton, the students who were with us all weekend and Westons.”
Tom Oliphant – #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“It’s been a roller coaster of a race, really tough on everyone. We had our fair share of problems but pulled through well. Words can’t describe the ups and downs but we pulled through and won the 2016 Dubai 24H!”
Nathan Freke – #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“Delighted with taking the win in our first 24 Hour attempt. The car just ran faultlessly for the race and during the evening we had to really drive it hard to make time up, so it didn’t have an easy life! I’m so proud of everyone involved in this. It’s been a dream come true. Tom, Aleksander and Anna did an amazing job. I just couldn’t have hoped for any more.”
Aleksander Schjerpen – #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4:
“What an amazing race! It’s been absolutely awesome. The team has done a great job, winning this thing is real teamwork, and we can finally show how strong we are. I am very proud to be a part of Century Motorsport and their 24H debut.”
Clive Freke – Team Manager, Century Motorsport:
“We are absolutely delighted with the result today. The whole team has done a fantastic job, and to win our first Dubai 24 Hour is a dream come true. The guys in the #230 car drove well and were unfortunate to have damage during the night, so their result isn’t a reflection of how well they all performed. Thank you to our drivers, team and sponsors for their support on this event.”