DKR drivers Charlie Eastwood, Ayhancan Guven and Salih Yoluc took victory in Sunday’s second of two races held at the Yas Marina Circuit and claimed the title after profiting from problems for their rivals in the latter stages.
Eastwood had been running third with 15 minutes of the four hours remaining but moved into the lead after Saturday race winners Malthe Jakobsen and Alexandre Coigny (Cool Racing) were hit with a stop-go penalty for a pitstop violation.
InterEuropol’s all-American lineup of Charles Crews, Christian Bogle and Nolan Siegel had appeared set to inherit victory until Siegel was slowed by gearbox problems that allowed Eastwood through and then forced his retirement.
The highly-impressive Jakobsen and Coigny still finished third behind the 99 Racing ORECA driven by Neel Jani, Nikita Mazepin and Ahmad al-Harthy, the former British GT racer claiming pole for both races on his LMP2 debut.
DKR’s race two victory followed a third-place finish in race one that preserved its 100% podium record across the four-round series, although it again came following misfortune for others after Guven lost time to a spin.
#25 Alagarve Pro Racing Oreca 07 — Gibson: John Falb, James Allen, Kyffin Simpson
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Algarve Pro Racing held the advantage in the LMP2 classification coming into the weekend after two strong showings at Dubai Autodrome, but its title hopes took a hit when Kyffin Simpson spun out of fourth in the closing stages of race one while pressuring United Autosports driver Oliver Jarvis.
Simpson eventually dug the car out of the barriers and finished ninth in the car he shared with Jon Falb and James Allen, its day compounded by a 35-second penalty for a pitstop violation.
DKR, therefore, inherited fourth on the road, before being moved up another position when the second-placed United Autosports machine of Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Jim McGuire was also hit with a post-race penalty and dropped to fifth.
Jakobsen and Coigny secured second in points as APR’s fourth place in race two secured third in the standings.
A pass for second in the final two minutes decided the LMP3 title in favour of Graff drivers Fabrice Rossello, Francois Heriau and Xavier Lloveras, who secured the crown in style with victory.
The championship had looked set to go to MV2S trio Fabien Lavergne, Jerome de Sadeleer and Vyacheslav Gutak until the crucial pass by Cool Racing’s Marcos Siebert meant both crews finished level on points — with Graff securing the title by having scored one more second-place finish.
Meanwhile, two wins for the Haupt Racing Team Mercedes of Luca Stolz, Martin Konrad and Faisal Al Zubair wasn’t enough to make up its points deficit to Walkenhorst BMW drivers Nicky Catsburg, Chandler Hull and Thomas Merrill after their Dubai double.
Catsburg led into the closing stages of race two before a late splash-and-dash, but still comfortably secured the title with second in class after taking fourth in race one.