Stephen Grove has collected a podium place finish in the 24 Hours of Dubai after an extremely impressive performance in the twice around the clock endurance race at the Dubai Autodrome over the weekend.
Sharing an MRS GT-Racing run Porsche 911-II Cup with co-drivers Glenn van Parijs, Bertram Hornung and Matthias Jeserich, Grove powered the new generation Porsche from their seventh in class qualifying position, to fifth in his opening stint of the race.
From there, Grove and his co-drivers kept on moving up the field before momentarily making it to the class lead by the halfway mark in the race.
The car slipped to second a short while later, but a stellar few stints in the closing hours of the race saw the Melbourne-based driver quickly reel back in the class leader as the clock ticked down.
The squad took home second in class and 18th overall, completing 577 laps in the 24 Hours and falling just over a minute short of the class winner as Grove chased them down in the final 30-minutes of the race.
“It’s amazing to finish this race on the podium, what a fantastic weekend!” exclaimed Grove.
“Huge thank you to the team and my co-drivers, everyone did a superb job and were faultless all 24 Hours; I couldn’t be happier.
“It was pretty special to start a race with over ninety cars, I think we were about 36th overall [seventh in class], so to push on from there and come in at 29th overall [5th in class) after my first stint was really special in a place like this.
“Then to be lucky enough to get on the podium and also finish the race and get the checkered flag was great!
“It was a really tough but enjoyable battle with some of the other guys in the class during the race, in the last hour we were up 50-seconds and then we needed to pit where they didn’t.
“We pushed all day, all night and then throughout the next morning to the finish.”
The 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia class champion spoke highly of the new generation Porsche cup car which he piloted during the race and will do so for the upcoming Carrera Cup Australia season.
Grove is now looking ahead to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will be Grove Racing’s biggest decent on the ‘Mountain’ with Stephen sharing a current generation Cup car alongside his son, Brenton Grove and Porsche ace Ben Barker.
“This stuff is for me, I think 24 Hour racing is just fantastic and it’s something I’m going to do a heap more of,” said Grove.
“Overall, it was over 7 and a half hours I spent in the car, it’s a lot of time in the car which was great because I learnt a lot too.
“This new generation Cup Car is mega, and it’s a real credit to Porsche.
“The scary part now is we are going to the 12 Hour where we jump back in the current generation car which doesn’t have ABS, which is going to play with my mind a bit!
“Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to Bathurst 12 Hour more than ever, it’s going to be a super weekend driving with Brenton and Ben as well.”
The Bathurst 12 Hour takes place from February 2-4.