Pole, fastest lap and the race lead the positive as a fuel leak denies 6H Abu Dhabi winning opportunity
Having claimed the pole position, led the early stages of the 6H Abu Dhabi whilst also recording the fastest race lap, all was going to plan as the Inception Racing with Optimum Motorsport chased its first victory of the season. Unfortunately, a fuel leak at the one-third distance mark forced a long pitstop to rectify the issue on the #72 McLaren 720S, dashing hopes of victory there and then. The team pushed on, recording 12th position overall, third in the GT class.
Hot on the heels of last weekend’s tenth position overall and fifth position in class at Dubai Autodrome, the team moved on to Yas Marina. Following the practice sessions, it was an early start Saturday morning for qualifying where both Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy took to the circuit in the 30-minute session. Ultimately, the latter claimed the pole position, setting up the race nicely for his teammate.
Brendan took the start, running second to the #99 Attempto Racing entry driven by Alex Aka. Keeping a watching brief, an early Code 60 after 30-minutes of action saw Brendan and the race leader box for full service.
Ollie resumed for his first stint of the race, quickly closing down the 20-second plus margin on the Attempto Audi to take the race lead. He extended his advantage by another 20-seconds before pitting on lap 33. Resuming, it soon became clear that the McLaren had developed a fuel leak, and this brought down the curtain on the event after 46 laps and two hours of competition.
Following a lengthy stop for repairs, the #72 resumed, moving ahead of the Attempto Racing Audi which had suffered mechanical problems, with Ollie taking the chequered flag after 84 laps.
The team now begin preparations for the Asian Le Mans Series which gets underway next month in the United Arab Emirates with the four rounds split between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While today’s result didn’t yield a significant reward, it did afford the team the opportunity to prepare well for its next challenge.
Shaun Goff, Inception Racing with Optimum Motorsport Team Principal
“We always really enjoy racing at this amazing facility at Yas Marina. Brendan and Ollie were super-fast and having secured the pole position, it was looking really promising. We started with Brendan, he put in a great stint, and we then boxed him under the first Code 60 to optimise the strategy which soon enough propelled us into the race lead.
“We went through the driver changes, but we were very unfortunate to pick up a fuel leak on the third stop which really hampered us in terms of pushing for the race win. But we’re happy with the pole, fastest lap and P3 in the GT class. The team and both drivers did a great job all weekend long, so onto the next one.”