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LIVE: Gulf 12 Hours Updates, Rossi on Podium at IGTC 2023 Finale

Updated by Owen Bradley

Credit: Gulf 12 Hours Social Media

The Intercontinental GT Championship Finale is here, with a championship decider on our hands between Jules Gounon, Philip Eng, Dries Vanthoor and Sheldon Van Der Linde.

MotoGP Legend and Nine-Time World Champion, Valentino Rossi will also be racing in his BMW GT3 M4 #46 Car alongside teammates Nick Yelloly and Dries Vanthoor. Rossi himself previously got a podium at the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours, driving with Kessel Racing Ferrari. Having taken a Victory in the GT World Challenge Europe 2023 at Misano, Valentino Rossi is yet to take victory in a GT Endurance Race, Starting from P4 this year, could this be his chance to take his maiden Endurance Win?

The Gulf 12 Hours, 2023. All Times in this article are GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


1st #99 Mercedes, Maro Engel, Luca Stolz, Mikael Grenier

2nd #46 BMW, Valentino Rossi, Dries Vanthoor, Nick Yelloly

3rd #14 Mercedes, Jules Gounon, Max Goertz, Fabian Schiller

LIVE: Gulf 12 Hours

Maro Engel comes home to take Victory for the #99 Mercedes team, Dries Vanthoor brings the BMW home for P2 and Jules Gounon rounds out the final podium place for the #14 Mercedes.


18:01 - Mercedes have multiple issues in the last 15 minutes of the race, with the #99 Mercedes leading the way, we could be in potentially for a surprise ending.

17:44 -It appears as though the #99 Mercedes will take the win, with just 20 minutes remaining, it will require a miracle for the #46 BMW to even catch the Mercedes.

17:27 - Dries Vanthoor aboard the #46 BMW hits some traffic, fellow Mercedes drivers get in the way and obstruct the BMW's line, costing the #46 even more time.

17:24 - #46 Brings the gap down to just over 10-seconds, #99 Mercedes hits traffic.

17:15 - #93 Sky Tempesta Racing, 10-Second Penalty

17:12 - Gap steadily coming down, Vanthoor catching Engel. Gap down to under 14 seconds.

17:04 - FINAL HOUR

17:04 - Maro Engel pits for #99's final stop, extending their lead due to the #46 penalty.

17:00 - #46 Final Pit Stop and Serving penalty, Vanthoor to finish the Gulf 12 Hours.

16:35 - Team #46 BMW +5 Second Penalty to be served in next pit stop.

16:31 - #46 Team Manager has been summoned to the stewards due to track limits abuses, on their final warning whilst closing down the #99 Mercedes.

16:25 - #46 BMW driven by Dries Vanthoor, who is going for the IGTC Title, is closing by around One second per lap.

16:21 - Vanthoor #46 closing slowly up to the #99 Mercedes, just shy of 10 seconds away as we enter our final 90 Minutes of racing action.

15:53 - #46 Has the pedal settings at their lowest, meaning that shorter drivers can reach the pedal easier. Yelloly limping out of the car, a great stint from him considering the setbacks.

15:51 - #99 and #46 both pit for driver changes, with just 11 seconds separating them.

15:26 - #46 Was multiple tenths faster than race leader, with over two hours to go and just over a 10-second lead, the race is beginning to reach its most dramatic moments.

15:16 - #99 Mercedes comes into the pits, giving #46 the lead back but only temporarily.

15:15 - 11 Seconds is the gap between the front two cars, #46 BMW is slightly faster and closing in by a few tenths per lap.

15:08 - #51 Ferrari has crashed, damaging the rear heavily. Meanwhile, #46 is still chasing after the leaders.

14:51 - Nick Yelloly driving the #46 BMW, sits just around 10 seconds from the lead. That pit stop cost them 14 seconds.

14:44 - Rossi pits, Slow stop from WRT potentially costs #46 the lead. #14 Mercedes comes into the pits, as we eagerly await to see if #46 remains the leader or not. Reports say that the pedal box was stuck, which could be more severe.

14:40 - Luca Stolz boxes for a driver change, an extremely long stint from Stolz, well over a two hour stint as that chase for the lead continues.

14:29 - #14 Mercedes have Unlapped themselves, the chase to re-take the lead is now well and truly on. Rossi seemingly slowing ever so slightly, and a pit stop imminent, we have a 3-way fight for the lead.

14:24 - Luca Stolz and Valentino Rossi swapping faster sectors than one another, Stolz steadily catching the #46 BMW.

14:05 - Luca Stolz struggling to get through the backmarkers. Rossi has increased his lead over Stolz by over 7 Seconds due to traffic.

14:04 - 2/3 Distance Completed, 223 Laps completed by leaders #46 BMW WRT

13:56 - Rossi laps the #14 Mercedes, with a pit stop still to make, the Mercedes will make that lap back, however Rossi will retain the race lead.

13:53 - Rossi Leading the way, but the #32 WRT is playing rear-gunner to the leading WRT #46 Car, making a massively aggressive move up the inside of Rovera.

13:51 - GREEN FLAG, Rossi Leading

13:36 - The #14 Mercedes re-joins the race, meaning their pit stop won't count for the mandatory 10-stops. They left the car on the jacks for a long amount of time, giving the #46 the advantage.

13:33 - Jules Gounon of the #14 Mercedes is in the pit, and will be doing their mandatory brake change. If the pit stop is more than 5 minutes long, then the pit stop will count. However if it is a sub-five minute stop, then the pit stop will not count and they will have to do it again. #46 driven by Valentino Rossi will now lead the Gulf 12 Hours, with just 4 hours remaining.


13:22 - Reacting to the major crash of the #79, Team WRT have doubled stacked their drivers, putting Valentino Rossi back behind the wheel of the #46. Rossi will have a huge opportunity to cruise right back up to the #14 Mercedes if a Safety Car is deployed, but even with this pit stop, fresh tyres and new fuel load, this is a massive opportunity for the #46 crew.

13:21 - MAJOR CRASH - The #79 Porsche has crashed out of the race going into Turn 6, spreading debris all over the circuit.

12:33 - Frank Bird and the #77 Mercedes come in for another stop, alongside the #33 Porsche as well.

12:23 - #14 pit and Schiller gets out of the car after a tough stint. They retain the lead of the race, but the gap has come right down.

12:18 - #46 Vanthoor pits, hands back over to Yelloly as the BMW crew are looking for a strong second half of this race, to potentially steal the victory away from the #14 car which is nursing an issue it seems, the gap was just over 10 seconds before this pit stop.

12:14 - #88 McLaren of Garage 59 picks up a puncture after a collision with a Ferrari.

12:11 - Fabian Schiller accidentally collides with another backmarker, sending a Porsche into a spin and potentially picking up even more damage, as the #46 gets ever closer.

12:03 - Suspected damage to the #14 Mercedes after that contact with the #99 Mercedes at 11:49. #46 BMW now catches to just over 10 seconds. All track limits infringements are reset to zero.


11:57 - #46 WRT now just 15 seconds out from the overall race leaders, it appears that traffic has not been kind to the #14 Mercedes, as they have struggled to filter their way through in this stint. BMW chase their first ever Gulf 12 Hours victory in 2023, with half of the race distance completed.

11:49 - Fabian Schiller, the leading #14 car has been held up by backmarkers, with the #99 Mercedes actually unlapping themselves and making contact with the #14 Mercedes, holding them up even further. #46 of Dries Vanthoor is now well within 20 seconds of the leader, catching by roughly 8 seconds over the last few laps.

11:41 - #73 Mercedes got caught in a spin on the final corner, not moving for a good 25 seconds as hopes of a Safety Car to spice the race up, grow larger. #46 is still steadily catching the #14 Mercedes leaders as the gap goes to 22 seconds.

11:34 - The race is coming to the halfway point, and it has settled in after an early double Safety Car period, but with the leaders still trading fastest laps and traffic, this race is still well and truly on.

11:31 - Dries Vanthoor is slowly beginning to catch the #14 Mercedes as the gap goes from 27 seconds, to 24 seconds after a few laps, as the #14 hits traffic.

11:13 - #14 Mercedes leaders come into the pits for a driver change, leading by a good margin of around 20 seconds.

11:08 - Valentino Rossi brings the #46 BMW back to the pit lane for a driver swap with Dries Vanthoor, a very solid stint from The Doctor, much better than his first stint as he managed to keep up with the leaders this time around, and seems to have found his groove ready for his next stint in a few hours time. #46 are still chasing for victory in this race, and for Dries Vanthoor to become IGTC Champion.

10:57 - Sky Tempesta #93 McLaren pits for a driver change, meanwhile Nick Yelloly of the #46 BMW begins to catch the leaders.

10:56 - More Track Limits Penalties for multiple cars, which now gives a team, a 5-second penalty to be served at the next pit stop.

10:33 - #14 Mercedes overtakes the #21 Porsche for the Overall Race Lead, as the Am driver of the #21 struggles for grip and is seemingly growing tired. Valentino Rossi in hot pursuit of the #21 towards the end of his stint.

10:03 - Leader Jules Gounon of the #14 Mercedes comes into the pits to hand it over to Max Goertz.

10:01 - Valentino Rossi is back into the #46 BMW car as we approach the completion of the first third of this race.

09:50 - A suspected exhaust issue for the #32 BMW WRT, potentially this issue was caused when the #32 was hit from the rear by #77 Mercedes at 08:45

09:45 - #32 WRT BMW has a major issue, as the team wheel it back into the pit box. Major issue for Team WRT. The #46 BMW did have an issue in Practice, a potential issue for both cars this weekend, with the #32 being unlucky to suffer from this issue during the main race.

09:13 - #33 Porsche has a 15 second time penalty for a pit lane infringement, the #33 crew not having a good run of things in this past hour.

08:59 - #33 Porsche has a left rear puncture, the first signs of tyre issues in this race and most likely, not the last one either.

08:56 - #32 Charles Weerts pits and switches seats with Sheldon Van Der Linde.

08:53- Valentino Rossi pits after a short stint, Nick Yelloly into the #46 Car.

08:50 - #21 Porsche which is leading the race, comes in to serve a pit stop and is now going back to their actual race position. #14 Mercedes leads from the #46 BMW.

08:45 - Frank Bird aboard the #77 Mercedes, hits the rear of the #32 BMW WRT, sending the #32 across the chicane.

08:35 - Valentino Rossi is the Fastest person of the leaders, currently running in P4 but being locked into battle with the Mercedes #14 who closes the door on The Doctor at Turn 6.

08:30 - #32 BMW WRT manages a Double Overtake on the exit of Turn 6!

08:21 - Contact between the #93 McLaren and the #25 Ferrari in Turn 5, sending the Ferrari out wide and cutting the chicane.

08:17 - Valentino Rossi currently leads the Pro category, P6 overall but has made an extra pit stop over the leaders.

08:15 - A Five-Way battle in the Am category, between the Ferrari's and McLaren's all scrambling to overtake one another.

07:59 - #88 McLaren hits the #27 McLaren, incident noted.

07:59 - Valentino Rossi jumps into the #46 BMW, taking over from Dries Vanthoor

07:57 - GREEN FLAG

07:25 - SAFETY CAR

07:24 - MAJOR CRASH for the #4 Porsche, on cold tyres pushing too hard and smashing into the barriers on the run in to Turn 1, cold tyres and cold brakes has put debris all over the circuit.

07:23 - #88 Garage 59 immediately comes into the pit lane after dominating the early part of this race, as does a lot of Am and Pro/Am cars.

07:22 - GREEN FLAG

07:04 - Maro Engel of the #99 Mercedes that was going to be the net leader, has made another pit stop and therefore the lead of this race, will go to the #46 BMW of Dries Vanthoor, Valentino Rossi and Nick Yelloly

06:53 - SAFETY CAR + Multiple Cars in Pit Lane

06:52 - HUGE CRASH for the #59 McLaren of Garage 59, hooking a wheel on the outside kerb of Turn One, sending the car spinning and smashing into the barrier on the inside, debris all over the circuit and liquids as well.

06:50 - Our first set of track limits warnings have come in for multiple drivers, something which many dreaded could very well decide the results of this race.

06:38 - FULL COURSE YELLOW: Debris on Circuit

06:37 - #75 Mercedes Comes into the pits under the FCY, gaining an advantage in the pit stops and now potentially taking a net race lead.

06:26 - Garage 59 #88 lead the overall race and the Pro/Am category, with a healthy lead of around nine seconds to the next car. The #99 Mercedes and #46 BMW chasing one another and fighting through the pack as they look to reclaim their track position.

06:08 - #32 WRT BMW comes into the pits as well, many early pit stops for fuel as battles begin.

06:06 - The leading #99 Mercedes car and #46 BMW of Valentino Rossi come into the pits immediately at the end of the first lap, taking extra fuel but nearly putting them one lap down.


1st Mercedes #99 Mercedes AMG Team GruppeM Racing

2nd Mercedes #14 Mercedes AMG Team 2 Seas

3rd Porsche #33 Herberth Motorsport

4th BMW #46 Team WRT

5th Mercedes #77 Mercedes AMG Team GruppeM Racing

1 Comment

Dec 11, 2023

Great regular updates... and fantastic idea to do the whole thing, something of an endurance event in itself doing the whole thing as a spectator.

I watched a whole Le Mans way back, prob early 2000s.... on Eurosport no less which back then was the motorsport channel of choice (NASCAR and Champcar on Sundays usually which was great, but did give you a tiring Monday). Back then all you could see was headlights on the Mulsanne with Martin Haven desperately trying to commentate on cars he could not identify, he pretty much just takked about cars no one could see all through the darkness hours 🤣 . I found solace in a lot of red wine which I think …

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