Gulf Racing wrapped up the 2014 ELMS season in Estoril last weekend with a pole position for the Aston Martin Vantage and 4th/5th place finishes in the GTE class in the race for the Porsche and Aston respectively.
After a pole position start for the #85 Aston Martin Vantage courtesy of Stuart Hall and fantastic first few laps of the race for Ben Barker in the #86 Porsche 991 (starting from 5th on the grid) the two Gulf Racing cars pulled away from the rest of the field and commanded the race for the first two hours as Dan Brown and Ben completed double stints in 1st and 2nd places respectively.
Hour 3 saw Stuart in the #85 Aston continue to hold the lead and pull further away from the chasing pack, with some fuelling problems in the latter stops the car unfortunately dropped the significant lead for the remaining stint. In the hands of Roald Goethe, with other cars fielding their Pro drivers for the final part of the race Roald battled to hold on for a commendable 5th place finish despite the issue.
In the Porsche 991 Mike Wainwright took over the car for the 3rd hour still in second place and put in a strong performance to keep the car fully in podium contention, as the pit-stops played out for the final hour Adam Carroll soon found himself within sight of the podium in 4th place and worked to reduce the 30 second gap to 3rd place Ferrari during the last hour. Unfortunately it was still too much for him to make up in the remaining time and despite being the quickest man on track the car finished in 4th place only 3.5 seconds behind the 3rd place car!
Team Manager Matt Beers said ‘We have had a good season of racing in the ELMS with ups and downs, but in the last three races we have proven what we can do – leading 7 out of 12 hours of racing and in Estoril running 1st & 2nd for more than half the race. Next year we plan to return stronger and fight for those podiums and the championship’.
Gulf racing will finish their 2014 season with the Gulf 12 hours in December, fielding the newly upgraded Lamborghini GT3, this will be followed by the 24hrs of Dubai in January 2015 with the same car.