© Ryan Ratcliffe 2018
Produced by Abbott Designs Ltd
COTA 24H -
Successful premiere for Black Falcon at COTA 24H USA
Team BLACK FALCON have achieved a fantastic second position finish overall at the end of the inaugural 24H COTA USA, held at the home of the US Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Circuit Of The Americas. This new-
Team BLACK FALCON entered a pair of cars in this final major round-
The #3 GT3 was driven by the stellar crew of Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Ben Keating (United States Of America), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and Luca Stolz (Germany), with Jeroen also celebrating his 50th start in a 24-
The #2 Mercedes-
Following the opening practice session in which the team were right at the sharp end, Qualifying went perfectly for Team BLACK FALCON: pole position the result after a stellar effort from #3’s quartet of driving talent. Red flags interrupted the flow of the session, but the #3 team didn’t let that put them off their stride. Maximum attack from the drivers achieved the fastest lap, but the fact that the gap to the second-
At 09:00 on Saturday morning, the 41 entries blasted uphill to the blind first turn, signalling the start of the 14-
Overnight, cars were kept under parc fermé conditions, the teams restarting their cars early the next morning in the condition they finished. Unfortunately #2’s participation came to a premature end: electrical issues with the car meant it couldn’t take the start and the GT4 was retired from the race. But the #3 crew resumed their chase of the lead, Jeroen taking the 08:00 start with a lap to make back up on the leader, and all four drivers fighting every minute of the 10 hours. Frustratingly, a damper issue cost the Mercedes four laps in repair time, and although the Team BLACK FALCON mechanics put in a massive effort to turn the car around quickly, and total commitment from Jeroen, Ben, Abdulaziz and Luca won them back vital seconds lap after lap, the gap to the leader was just that little bit too much to bridge. #3 had to settle for second when the chequered flag was finally shown at 20:00 that evening.
As ever, the whole team put in a fantastic effort, and despite the disappointment of the DNF for #2, that car once again showed its potential and highlighted the performance of its drivers, while the drivers of #3 celebrated the final endurance outing for the GT3 this year with the taste of champagne. The team’s mechanics were excellent as ever, coping with all the challenges that a 24-
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