BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWEAN racing driver Axcil Jefferies has paid tribute to his UAE-based GPX Racing team after celebrating one of the biggest wins of his motor racing career in the gruelling 2021 Hankook Dubai 24-Hour endurance race at the Dubai Autodrome racing circuit on Saturday.
The Hankook Dubai 24-Hour endurance race is one of the top events on the international motorsport calendar; boasting one of the largest grids in racing with entries from all around the world.
Jefferies, a resident racer, who knows the 5,39km of tarmac at Dubai Autodrome quite well, played a pivotal role in the win as he held off all challengers to bring the car home, taking the chequered flag after 24-Hours of endurance racing for GPX Racing.
The GPX Racing team which comprises Jefferies, Frederic Fatien, Mathieu Jaminet, Julien Andlauer and Alain Ferte secured a lead it would never lose on lap 124 of the 600 laps, driving a faultless race thereafter to pull over three minutes clear of their nearest rivals.
Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Dries Vanthoor, Kelvin van der Linde, Frank Bird, Benjamin Goethe and Louis Machiels settled for second position.
GPX Racing thus becomes the first team from the UAE to take an outright win at the Hankook Dubai 24-Hour since Abu Dhabi Racing pulled a double in 2012 and 2013.
The result also secures Porsche a record-extending sixth win at the event. The race marked the opening round of the 24-H Series, which continues next weekend with a non-championship six-hour enduro at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Jefferies was delighted with the win and credited his team for the work on the car.
“It’s fantastic and I’m so happy for the team,” Jefferies remarked after the demanding race.
“The guys worked so hard this whole week — they rebuilt the car two or three times — and they believed in us, so it’s great to reward them.
“And of course all the drivers did an amazing job. We pushed early on to build up a gap and then went into safety management mode in the last two hours to make sure we could bring the car home.”
Saturday’s victory was Jefferies’ first in a 24-Hour endurance race since making his debut at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France with UAE-based team GPX in May 2017.
Jefferies, whose ambition of competing in Formula One has been hampered by lack of sponsorship, has competed in Formula BMW, Formula Two Championship, Indy Lights, the GP2 Series, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship, GT World Challenge and the 24-H Endurance Series.
The gifted Zimbabwean is also the senior race instructor at Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi.
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