|What||Dubai 24 Hour|
|When||12-13 January 2017|
Murray, Liebenberg win desert enduro class
South African duo Simon Murray and Bradley Liebenberg enjoyed a brilliant weekend at the Dubai 24 Hour, when they won the SP3 class and ended sixth overall in the TCE race in a Ginetta G55 shared with Englishmen Coin White and Jac Constable. It was the culmination of a dream start of the year for Murray, who also had a fantastic previous weekend with a win and a second at the 3x3 sportscar meeting.
Driving together with up-and-coming SA youngster Liebenberg, former South African Endurance champion Murray and the team competed in the Dubai 24 Hour TCE race within a race alongside the GT3 race for faster machinery. “The 24 hour was a massive learning curve,” Simon explained. “I had never driven a Ginetta G55 GT4 car or done a 24 hour before. “Brad Liebenberg was a total rockstar all weekend long and on the pace from his second lap, despite also never having sat in the car or driven the track before.
“We started second in TCE thanks to Brad’s qualifying efforts and we were looking good for an overall TCE win, but we ran into a series of gearbox issues overnight, which eventually saw the team changing the entire box in only 25 minutes. “After that, it was just a case of pushing hard to the end. “I have always dreamed of completing a 24 hour race, so to win it alongside a cool guy like Brad, the rest of the CWS Engineering team and my co drivers Colin and Jac, was incredible."
It was a successful week overall in Dubai as Murray explains: “It was always going to be an epic week — the plan was to race the 3x3 — a set of three, three-hour races over previous weekend in the Ginetta G57 prototype and then to do the 24 hours in the Ginetta G55 GT4 car this weekend. “Having never been to the Dubai track before, I put in a lot of time on the simulator, so I was happy to be on the pace from the start of the 3x3 weekend.
“Unfortunately we suffered an unlucky suspension failure on the G57 that put us out of race 1 of the three, but Michael Simpson, Charlie Robertson and I managed to put together a flawless performance and we bounced back to dominate race 2. “Race 3 was also in the bag until the last corner, where a wheel bearing failed and forced us to coast over the line and we lost our win by just 2.5 seconds. "That's racing for you!
“Still, it’s been a dream start to my racing year — special thanks to both teams and everyone involved over the last fortnight - it was an absolute blast. “Now we are ready for 2018!”