The 458 GT3’s season starts in the Dubai 24 Hours

The seventh running of the Dubai 24 Hours, a race that has now become the classic start to the season for team competing in endurance races, did not deliver results that matched the expectations for the two Ferraris entered, after Thursday qualifying had gone well. One key factor was without the doubt the penalty imposed on the two cars through the series regulations, which saw them run with a hefty 75 kilos of ballast and 20 litres less fuel.Having started from pole, the AUH Motorsport 458 GT3, gradually lost ground, until it had to retire with a mechanical failure during the night. The AF Corse Ferrari GT3, which had enjoyed a highly successful 2011 campaign, including taking the FIA GT title, was also out of luck. On the Emirates track, the Italian team was counting on the experience of Marco Cioci and Niki Cadei, teamed with Ireland’s Matt Griffin and the South African, Jack Berger. They had shown plenty of potential, setting the second fastest time in qualifying, but had to retire in the night after a collision with the GT3 Racing team’s Dodge Viper.The AF Corse team gets a chance to redeem itself right from next weekend, when it enters two 458 GT3s in the Abu Dhabi 12 Hours.