15.01.2011 - Second in class and 12th overall at the 24h race of Dubai
The 24h of Dubai has never been with that top-class drivers than in its 6th edition this year. There were 86 racecars with teams and drivers from 38 countries. Professionals like Bernd Schneider, 5 times DTM-Champion, Kurt Thiim, also DTM Champion as well as Christopher Haase, GT3 European Champion and Peter Kox, ADAC GT Masters winner 2010 were racing. 22 different brands were on the grid and Mercedes Benz with their new SLS AMG GT3 at their 24h debut got a lot of attention.
All drivers of the Team Autoweiland.de were Jörg Viebahn, Valentin Hummel, Stefan Müller, Andreas and Matthias Weiland and met each other at the car on the grid to pass the time with the start driver Jörg Viebahn until the start. By the way all drivers were driving with the new cooling driver suits VentSuit of Autoflug, which cools by circulation of air.
At the starting grid, Saeed Khalfan, the President of the Dubai Autodrome, wished Valentin, with 19 years of age one of the youngest drivers in the race, good luck for the 24h race.
The start from grid position 37 was driven by Jörg Viebahn, who could win places from the beginning on behind the 24 cars that were competing for an overall win.
After 44 laps Jörg came to the pit for the routine pit stop and driverchange to Stefan Müller. At that time they were in fornt of the on grid position 26 started fastest Porsche in the 997-Cup class, the Besaplast Porsche. In Stefans stint the team was very lucky that a Seat Leon, that lost a wheel, didn't hit the Weiland Porsche.
After Stefan Müller did 43 laps it was Valentins turn and Valentin got into the car while sunset and his stint was going into the night, which is one of the most difficult part of a 24h race.
Even if Valentin is only 19 years old, he is with four 24h races an experienced 24h driver and so he didn't have problems and won one place after the other. After a short time Valentin could adjust his race line to the changed setup of the Porsche and drove constantly fast lap times with a 2:12.469 min. as his fastest lap, that was the second fastest lap of the team. Next to drive was Andreas Weiland who had to refuel before getting back on the track like every other driver.
But he came back to the pit after already 23 laps, because his drinking system didn't work and he dehydrated. So Matthias Weiland started his first stint earlier than planed.
Valentins next stint started at 3:40 at night. Everything was perfect until Valentin came around turn 13, a very fast left, and the track was blocked by two Seats and to avoid a crash Valentin had to go off the track where he hit a Styrofoam sign which broke the wind shield and the front spoiler. That was why Valentin had a lot of understeering for the rest of is stint. Therefor his best laptime of 2:12.73 min in that stint was very fast. At the pit stop after 46 laps the front spoiler was changed what necessitated additional 2.5 min in the pit. Unfortunately Valentins driving time was already over since he shared the driver seat with Stefan Müller. After Valentin Matthias started his stint still on first position in class, but after 35 laps the v-belt cracked and the team fell back to position 2 in class because of a 20 min. repair. Afterwards Jörg Viebahn drove again and at the next pit stop another 4,5 min. were lost for a unplaned brake pads change at the back.
After that the Porsche was running without any problems during the stints of Andreas, Matthias and Jörg. But the lost time of the repairs couldn't be cought up during the rest of the race. For all abundance there has been a sandstorm for one hour in the morning.
In the second last stint Jörg Viebahn tried to get the class-leading di Lorenzi Porsche into a mistake, but it didn't work.
In the 526th lap of 554, Jörg drove the fastest racelap of the team with 2:10.43 min. Also in the night Jörg was the fastest driver of the team with a 2:11.683 min. closely followed by Valentin with his 2:12.469 min. Stefan had a fastest lap of 2:14.393 and Matthias 2:14.632 min. After all the team was beat by the de Lorenzi Porsche but was very happy about being on the podium.
Second in class and 12th of 86 overall is a big success for the team and the drivers. 3 of 8 Cup Porsche finished the race regularily in after the rest was very far in the back after crashes or technical defects. How challanging the race with 20 more cars on the track according to the last years race show the 9 Code-60s and the 14 less driven laps of the overall winner. In the end only 64 cars finished the race.
After the race the whole team celebrated his success and later Valentin had dinner at the Mall of the Emirates next to the skiing hall Ski Dubai before he had to catch his plane back to Germany.
Concluding Valentin drove almost 100 laps on the 997 Cup Porsche and had another big success in his very young racing career. Congratulations!