Rossi Ferrari scores podium finish, wins class in Gulf 12 Hours

Charles Bradley

Rossi was behind the wheel of the #46 Monster VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3 for the final stint, and took the chequered flag in third position, four laps down on the winning car in his first race start since 2012. 

The 40-year-old Italian shared the car with half-brother Luca Marini, a Moto2 racer, and longtime friend and business associate Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci.

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Rossi started the race – which was run in two six-hour segments – but dropped two places in the opening laps, but got them both back over his first stint, while Marini gained another later so they finished the first part in sixth position.

In the second segment, following a scare when Rossi stopped out on track with a fuel-flow issue, his car become embroiled in a duel for the final place on the podium with the #5 Audi of former DTM star Uwe Alzen.

A drive-through penalty for serving a pitstop too late cost Alzen dearly, and helped Rossi’s car grab the final position on the podium in the final hour of the event.

Cars group photo lineup

Cars group photo lineup FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#46 Monster VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini, Alessio Salucci

#46 Monster VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini, Alessio Salucci FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

Start action #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3: Maximilian Goetz, Dominik Baumann, Al Zubair Al Faisal

Start action #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3: Maximilian Goetz, Dominik Baumann, Al Zubair Al Faisal FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3: Murod Sultanov, Mattia Drudi, Nicolas Foster

#55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3: Murod Sultanov, Mattia Drudi, Nicolas Foster FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting

#83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3: Jim McGuire, Richard Meins, Shaun Lynn

#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3: Jim McGuire, Richard Meins, Shaun Lynn FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting

#83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3: Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo: Sergey Afanasyev, Jack Butel, Steven Liquorish, Shota Abkhazava

#12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo: Sergey Afanasyev, Jack Butel, Steven Liquorish, Shota Abkhazava FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#5 Uwe Alzen Automotive Audi R8 GT3 Evo: Uwe Alzen, Martin Konrad, Dietmar Haggenmueller

#5 Uwe Alzen Automotive Audi R8 GT3 Evo: Uwe Alzen, Martin Konrad, Dietmar Haggenmueller FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo: Adrian Amstutz, Miguel Amos, Jordan Witt, Patrick Kujala

77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo: Adrian Amstutz, Miguel Amos, Jordan Witt, Patrick Kujala FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#5 Uwe Alzen Automotive Audi R8 GT3 Evo: Uwe Alzen, Martin Konrad, Dietmar Haggenmueller

#5 Uwe Alzen Automotive Audi R8 GT3 Evo: Uwe Alzen, Martin Konrad, Dietmar Haggenmueller FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3: Murod Sultanov, Mattia Drudi, Nicolas Foster

#55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3: Murod Sultanov, Mattia Drudi, Nicolas Foster FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

#19 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: Stuart Hall, Benji Goethe, Jordan Grogor

#19 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: Stuart Hall, Benji Goethe, Jordan Grogor FotoSpeedy

FotoSpeedy

Christopher Mies crossed the line in first place in #66 Attempto Audi R8 LMS, which he shared with Dries Vanthoor and Rinat Salikhov, finishing 1m38s ahead of the sister car of Nick Foster, Murod Sultanov and Mattia Drudi.

The #66 car won both segments of the race, and prevailed despite serving a stop/go penalty for a pitstop infringement in the first part.

HTP Motorsport's pole-winning Mercedes-AMG GT3 suffered an ignition coil issue, which stranded it out on the circuit towards the end of the first half of the race, while the #77 Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which had joined the HTP Merc on the front row, suffered an ABS failure which caused a lengthy repair job.