Riyadh, Monday, January 12th 2015– Saudi driver Mohammed Jawa took a stellar double podium finish in the Hankook Dubai 24hr race at Dubai Autodrome aboard the #88 Dragon Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
On the 10th anniversary of this endurance event, 89 cars took to the track on Friday 10th at 2:00pm. Mohammed was part of a four man team racing alongside Rob Barff, Jordan Grogor and Matt Griffin in the A6 ProAm class.
The team were meticulous in their approach to the race, with one aim in mind, to win. But despite the best efforts of the team the car developed a technical fault just three hours to go which changed the game plan considerably for the entire team.
Having already achieved a third in Pro-Am class in last year’s race the team were prepared to go all out in the bid to achieve a podium place overall, no mean feat considering the team were in Pro-Am class and up against twelve cars in the Pro class. This meant that as per the rules, all Pro class cars have no restrictions on lap times or speed and can race flat out. All Pro-Am class teams are restricted to a lap time max of 2mins 04seconds per lap, anything under this time would mean a penalty for the team. Consistency for the team and maintaining this ideal lap time would be a deciding factor in their success.
Now campaigning his third endurance race event Mohammed got his first stint in the car at 4pm, taking over from Rob Barff who took the car into a strong sixth place from sixteenth place on the start grid. Conscious of maintaining this competitive position Mohammed got straight to work feeling immediately comfortable in the car to maintain seventh position, handing over to Matt Griffin by4:30pm.
The team cycled through their pit stops every hour and 20mins or when an opportunity arose due to the many Code 60 periods. The driver sequence of Barff/Jawa/Grogor/Griffin allowed them all some time for recovering energy and some sleep. The #88 car ran faultlessly and by the early hours the team were dicing with the top three cars and throughout the night were head to head with the top three leading group.
With only three hours to go during the tyre change, the team noticed that there was a fault with the rear right wheel, meaning it could not be removed for fear of further damage, unable to change the tyre on this wheel, the team opted to put in resident driver Jordan Grogor to double stint his drive to the chequered flag to cautiously maintain their third position which they had maintained since 9am.
The tension in the pit garage was palpable as everyone knew what was at stake, a failure of the rear wheel at this point would mean a certain failure for the team.
During the morning hours from 8am till 9am the team were in second place, but could not defend that position from the #30 Ram Racing Mercedes AMG SLS.
The team remained an elusive 34 seconds behind the Ram team for the remaining hour as they tried to re-take second place, It was a frustrating situation and carrying the rear tyre issue and the time limit, Jordan Grogor had nothing left to do but maintain his third position.
However with a good amount of lady luck, after 600 laps and only 1hr 16mins in the pits, the car performed without fail and the team breathed a sigh of relief to bask in the glory of two podium positions with a third place overall finish and first in Pro-Am class.
“The closeness of the competition at this level is intense, you cannot take any chances and everything must work in perfect harmony, the car, drivers and crew are so critical in this event. The race started so well for us, then in the last 30mns I was just on the edge of my seat, hoping that Jordan would have no issues with that rear wheel, but it all worked like clockwork.”
“I cannot still believe what has happened, and how we have been so lucky to have this finish, it is truly a blessing to achieve this, It’s a huge achievement, the best of my career, I can never forget this moment. Rob, Jordan and Matt are truly great professionals and team mates and I am happy to have been able to match them throughout the race, we worked really well together and its a credit to us all that we had no serious incidents with so many cars on track. I am also so proud to share the podium again with my fellow Saudi friend HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal who took the overall victory with Black Falcon team. I really want to thank my sponsors Seven Car Lounge, Nozomi and Mitha Industries along with all my family for their continued support,” commented Mohammed post race.
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