It was a fantastic start to the year for the Groves as they took to the Dubai Autodrome for the Hankook 24H alongside their elite driving squad which included the likes of Supercars star, Anton de Pasquale and Earl Bamber.
The crew brought home a solid 4th position; an improvement on their 6th place finish the previous year. The team was competing under the Grove Racing banner, with the Porsche prepared by EMB Giga Racing.
Behind the wheel of the #10 GT3 R, Anton, Steve, Brenton and Earl showed strong pace throughout the split qualifying sessions, producing a combined time of 2:00.328s which saw them begin the race just behind Team WRT #7 BMW M4 GT3.
Out of the four drivers, Earl Bamber started the 24-hour-long endurance race, consistently positioned within the top 5, with a period spent in the top 3.
Anton de Pasquale claimed fourth in the concluding three hours with an outstanding pass before Earl Bamber, Stephen and Brenton Grove brought the car across to finish after 618 laps.
Despite missing out on a podium position, the team were in contention for 3rd for much of the race but lost time during a Code 60 period.
After completing 618 laps, the crew came across the line to finish in 4th.
Stephen Grove said: “The process is always finishing the race, which was the main goal to do that."
“There was one Full Course Yellow that really hampered us, we probably would have been on for a better result, but fourth is good.
“It’s a 24-hour with no Safety Cars, it’s Full Course Yellows so you don’t have the ability to make up time, so really it’s a 24-hour sprint race.
“For Anton to spend so much time in the car and do lap after lap for a long period of time, it will only do his driving a world of good.”
Anton De Pasquale will join Stephen and Brenton Grove again for the Bathurst 12 Hour taking place on the 3rd to the 5th of February
“Firstly really cool to be back here in Dubai with the Groves and Earl for another Dubai 24,” said De Pasquale.
“It was a hectic race, had some really good speed and we were in with a shot for a large portion of it.
“To finish a 24-hour race is really cool and to be just shy of a podium is also really good.
“It’s very different when it goes to the Code 60 — you can be at the wrong side of the track and miss the pits and all this kind of stuff which happened to us a few times and I’m sure it happened to other people heaps of times throughout the race.
“There’s a whole different strategy, sometimes it just falls your way and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s really a time trial to the end and judging those unknown windows.
“It’s something very different to what we normally do but it’s still heaps of fun.
“I’m sure we’ll be coming back and trying to go better in the future but we’ve got Bathurst next; 12 hours around there back at home and heaps of miles in the car so looking forward to it.”
Stephen and Brenton Grove will take to Mount Panorama circuit on the 3rd to the 5th of February, once again alongside Anton de Pasquale, to compete in the Liqui-Moli Bathurst 12-Hour.
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Alison Powell | PR, Media and Marketing Coordinator | Grove Racing
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