Quaife takes class win

 for Aston Martin at Dubai 24 Hours

Kent based racing driver Phil Quaife began the 2009 season in style by notching his first-ever 24 Hour-race win with a faultless performance in DXB Racing’s Aston Martin Vantage V8 at the Dubai 24 Hours.

The result saw Quaife and his team mates win the SP2 class by a giant margin of eight laps and secure an impressive 12th place finish overall, ahead of many much more powerful machines in the 75-car field. It also marked a first victory in the race for Aston Martin on the marque’s Dubai 24 Hours debut.

Quaife and co-drivers Jonathan Simmonds, Julian Griffin and Bassam Kronfli drove quick, error-free stints during the gruelling 536-lap event at the Dubai Autodrome, while the GT4-spec Aston Martin Vantage ran trouble-free throughout the entire 24 Hours. Impeccable tactics and pit work from the DXB Racing team also helped strengthen their position during the race, before they took the class lead with a couple of hours remaining and pulled away to win.

Phil had started the race from the midfield and kept clear of the numerous incidents in the early stages. As the race settled down, he immediately began to climb the order and, having started 42nd, ended his first stint in 19th overall. The team chose to single stint the tyres and change the brake pads every six hours to avoid any potential pitfalls and, bar losing a left wing mirror midway through the race, they suffered no mechanical problems. During the last five hours, the battle for the class lead intensified as they regularly swapped places with the #101 BMW M3, before finally taking a decisive advantage in the dying stages.

“I honestly don’t think things could have gone any smoother,” said a delighted Quaife after the race. “Neither the drivers nor the team made a single mistake and our tactics were absolutely spot on. We stayed out of trouble early on and then posted consistently strong lap times on track throughout the race. The minimum number of pitstops permitted was 13 and we only made 14 which just shows that the team’s tactics were pretty much perfect. In our class we were, up against GT3-spec Moslers, Porsche 996s and even an Aussie V8 Supercar, so to win against so many more powerful cars is fantastic.”

Victory gives Quaife his maiden 24 Hour race win having competed twice before in the Dubai event and also continues to highlight the huge potential of the GT4 Aston Martin Vantage in endurance racing.

“Winning a 24 hour race is a very special feeling,” Phil said. “There are so many ups and downs in such a long event and it can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! The fact that our grit and determination paid off with a win is very satisfying and I’d like to thank Jonathan, Julian, Bassam and the team for inviting me here to race,” said Phil. “It’s also important to congratulate the guys at Prodrive on producing such a superb car as the GT4 Vantage. To finish first, second and third in class at the Britcar 24 Hours was impressive, but to come to Dubai, in very different conditions, and for the car to be absolutely faultless for the whole 24 Hours is, quite frankly, stunning.”

Already looking ahead to 2010, DXB Racing are hoping to challenge for the overall honours in Dubai by stepping up to race the Prodrive-built GT2 Aston Martin Vantage. “It’s a very exciting project and one with which I would love to be involved,” admitted Quaife.

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