Despite it wasn’t a brilliant result at the end, a ninth place in A6-Am class as a result of several punctures and a collision at night when one his teammates crashed into a backmarker, Tutumlu put in brilliant stints fighting with GT3 factory drivers.
Isaac Tutumlu couldn’t step onto the podium at the 24 hours of Dubai as he managed to do two years ago or, more recently, in the Gulf 12 hours at the Yas Marina Circuit. Tutumlu, driving a Car Collection Motorsport-run Audi R8 LMS shared with Aly Çapan, Frank Stippler, Dimitri Parhofer and Rémi Terrail, was forced to deal with several race incidents preventing a better result.
Starting 11th on the grid, Stippler made a solid opening stint by moving up to second place overall despite a puncture after two hours. When Tutumlu was about to drive his first stint at night, the Car Collection Audi had already dropped to 15th after the gentlemen drivers pit sequence. The Spaniard set an extremely competitive pace from the very beginning but two other punctures damaged his recovery stint. A few hours later, one of his teammates crashed into another car and the team spent eighty minutes in the pits but they managed to continue battling in the race. Tutumlu took over the driving duties in the final two hours to take the checkered flag ninth in the A6-Am class.
“We had a crazy race with ups and downs as usual in Dubai. Our pit strategy was quite good at the beginning and an early Code 60 worked perfectly for us and Stippler managed to put our car second in the standings. Later, considering we were two professional drivers, Stippler and I, and three gentlemen drivers we lost time. My lap times during my first stint were rather competitive, pretty much the same times as factory drivers. Unfortunately Parhofer collided with a backmarker when lapping him, as the latter spun, but we still managed to do our comeback more than one hour later”, said Tutumlu. The driver from Barcelona stressed: “We also experienced brake problems, losing other ten minutes in the pits. During my second night stint I was the fastest on the track despite our lights, as a result of our previous crash, weren’t working properly. In the last two hours I was a man on a mission, as I had to help the second car of car Collection, which was in podium contention. With my tires experienced extreme wear I still lapped competitive times and both Car Collection and Audi Sport itself congratulated me. They are very happy with my driving here.”
Source. CTR Press