23 Jan Outstanding victory for PK Carsport in 24 Hours of Dubai!
For Bert and Stienes Longin, Peter Guelinckx and Stijn Lowette the 2021 racing season has started in the best possible way.
Under the guidance of team manager Anthony Kumpen, they drove the BMW M2 CS Racing from PK Carsport to victory in the TCX class at the 24 Hours of Dubai. Solid and constant lap times and a reliable car made the difference in the end.
The 15th edition of the Dubai 24 Hours confirmed the reputation of the 24-hour race in the desert. The heavy traffic (more than 50 cars at the start), more than 13 hours of racing in the dark and a technical circuit once again ensured that man and machine were severely tested.
“We had to deal with a petrol pump that was out of order relatively early in the race”, Stienes Longin tells. “Not forgetting that this was the first 24-hour race for this BMW and the data on the fuel consumption still needed some adjustment. The team managed to solve it quickly, so we could immediately start to catch up.”
That proved to be no easy task, especially with the heavy traffic on the five-kilometer long Dubai Autodrome. In the night hours this led to a small contact with another car, which caused the necessary repairs.
“At six hours from the end we were still third in the TCX class, but then we started to push on,” continued Longin Jr.
The reliability of the BMW played a major role in the end, because while our competitors lost some time, we were able to push through to the finish without any problems.”
In the end, the black-and-blue BMW crossed the line with a seven-lap lead over its closest attacker, the Ginetta of CWS Engineering. The PK Carsport quartet also finished sixth of all touring cars and in a
nice 25th place overall.
“I hadn’t dared to dream or hope for this,” Peter Guelinckx gloated after his very first 24-hour race. “I had to overcome a few hurdles. Taking into account the GT3’s that are busy with their own race is one thing, but getting behind the wheel at night should not be underestimated either. Thanks to the experience and good advice from Stienes and Bert, it all worked out brilliantly. This tastes like more!”
Stijn Lowette, too, was obviously over the moon, although he did not have a quiet night. “I was hit on the front wheel by a GT3, which tilted the steering wheel 45 degrees. Anthony asked if the car was still running, and as it was, I finished the rest of my stint with the steering wheel at an angle. Not easy when the GT3’s with the fast factory drivers at the wheel are flying around your ears left and right. The replacement of the steering rod took another 20 minutes. The fact that we were able to turn that deficit into a victory makes it even better.”
“Yes, I’m very proud of this,” gloated Bert Longin. “This race is incredibly hectic, especially if, you’re not racing in the fastest class. And if you have little experience, like Peter and Stijn, then it’s anything but obvious. But we made sure, as a team, that we all stayed calm, everyone did what was asked of him, and that was rewarded with this result. Big thanks also to Anthony Kumpen, because as a team manager he has made a very important part in this victory.”
Watch the footage of the victory here!