Oxford Vaughan Ambassador Oliver Webb Helps To Make History In A Dramatic Dubai 24 Hour Race

It has been a busy start to 2016 for Oxford Vaughan Ambassador and endurance racing driver Oliver Webb. Following a podium finish in the Asian Le Mans Series in Thailand, Oliver headed into the Dubai 24 Hours Race last weekend looking to retain his 2015 crown with Team Black Falcon.

The race weekend started under normal circumstances, with testing in the Black Falcon Mercedes SLS GT3 machine. Oli sat out the first session to allow his teammates to learn the car and the challenging Dubai track. On day 2 of testing, Oli got behind the wheel, already familiar with the circuit and car following his Dubai 24 Hour victory last year.

After putting in a couple of timed laps he handed over to Adam Christodoulou and then Patrick Assenheimer. Just an hour into the session the number 16 Mercedes suffered a catastrophic fire. Assenheimer climbed to safety and was taken to the Medical Centre but thankfully escaped major injury, although he would play no further part in the race. The car was reduced to ash and the weekend looked all but over as Oli and the team sat out qualifying. However, salvation came in the form of Abdulaziz al Faisal who offered an older show car to the team which they gratefully accepted.

After taking the car apart and re-building it from the ground up, the team managed to get the car ready to race by 6am - just a few hours before the morning warm up session on race day. With no time to bed-in the new parts, Team Black Falcon put their #16 car out onto the grid in dead last of the 98 cars that started the race.
Incredibly, Christodoulou passed 23 cars on the very first lap and an hour later brought the Mercedes into the pit lane in P26. Oli strapped himself in and continued the astonishing come back to pit in 4th place. 2 hours in and 94 places gained.

From there it was about catching and passing the much newer, faster cars. With almost 600 laps completed and 24 hours of the most astounding driving, the team brought the car home in 2nd place. This achievement cannot be underestimated and provided the 11th running of the Dubai 24 Hour with a miraculous story!

This unbelievable race gave Oli his 3rd consecutive podium in Dubai and continued his strong start to the 2016 racing season.

This really was a memorable weekend! I don’t think we’ll ever have another race like this. After Patrick’s fire we really thought our weekend was over so we’re really grateful for Abdulaziz for stepping in and providing another car. We all wanted to do well for Patrick but realistically a podium seemed a step too far. Finishing P2 from the back of such a massive grid was an amazing feeling. Patrick has some nasty burns but is ok and this one was definitely for him.

Next up for Oli is the final round of the Asian Le Mans Series in Malaysia, where he will return to the Race Performance Team in the Oreca 03 LMP2 car. This upcoming race is a title decider, and will give Oli the chance of a Championship title to top off a demanding and exciting start to 2016.

Keep up to date with the latest updates from Oliver as he competes in the final race of the Asian 24 Hour Series on Twitter and Instagram.


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