2012 Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai

12-13-14 January 2012 at Dubai Autodrome

2011 field on the formation lap at Dubai Autodrome

General Information, FAQs & All You Need to know

What is the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai?

The Dubai 24 Hour Race is both a sports car and touring car automobile endurance race held annually at the Dubai Autodrome. It was inaugurated in 2006 and serves as a one of the ultimate tests for both the endurance of the driver and machine. The race starts at 2pm on Friday and ends 24 hours later at 2pm on Saturday.

The race features both a variety of Grand Tourer (GT), touring cars as well as specially-built silhouette cars from a wide range of marques which are eligible to enter. These range from small-engined Super 2000 hatchbacks to racing-bred sport cars. This will be the seventh edition of the 24 Hours of Dubai race in the UAE.

What happens on the days leading up and during event (overview)? 10 January, Tuesday – Unloading containers and team setup in pit garages 11 January, Wednesday – Scrutineering, admin checks and press conference 13 January, Thursday – Practice and qualifying (night and day) 14 January, Friday – Warm-up, pre-race parades etc, race starts at 14h00 15 January, Saturday – Race finished at 14h00 and is followed by podium ceremony

What other activities are usually going on during the event?

For fans, admission is free to watch this world-class event with access to the amphitheatre and the grandstand, with visitors will also allowed in the paddock to get a first hand feel of the excitement and meet drivers and see the teams at work. Also in the paddock will be a myriad of activities for children and families with food and beverages throughout.

Where do the drivers come from? Is it only professionals?

The race is open to both professional, semi-professional drivers and teams. There are both local competitors from the UAE and surrounding nations in the Persian Gulf as well as a host of international teams from Europe, Australia, South and North America. Ninety international teams with over 400 drivers and 2000 crew members from every corner of the globe will descend on Dubai for the event.

Fabien Giroix started from pole position last year

What can fans expect during the race weekend?

A huge field, some of the fastest exotic cars around, close racing and arguably one of the most spectacular starts imaginable – 80 cars hurtling into Turn 1….

There will be a great variety of food and beverage outlets in the paddock with a typical UAE heritage village set up in the same area. Free admission. Download family invitations from www.dubaiautodrome.com

Pits stop for the Black Falcons Mercedes team

What happened in last year’s Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai?

Every year has drama here is report in last year’s race which was won by a team with a lady racer: BMW ended Porsche stranglehold on the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai when the Need for Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 crossed the finish line this afternoon to claim victory for multinational line-up of Augusto Farfus from Brazil, Edward Sandtsrom from Sweden, Tommy Milner from USA and German lady racer Claudia Hurtgen.

Hurtgen has been runner-up twice in Dubai and said after the race, “I really have no words at the moment. We came close to victory here two years ago, but then we had an accident in the closing stages and ended up second. Now I have finally scored my maiden victory in a 24-hour race. In that last few laps, I started hearing many strange noises, but fortunately, we were able to make it home. Fantastic!”

Stalking the BMW throughout the 24 hours was the AF Corse Ferrari F430 team who finished second Italian trio Eppe Perrazini, Lorenzo Case, Marco Cioci and Michel Broniszewski from Switzerland at the wheel.

Third place and final podium spot went to the Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG with German quartet Thomas Jager, Kenneth Heyer, Jan Seyffarth and Sean Paul Breslin doing cockpit duty.

Philosophy of the event from Creventic the Dutch organisers:

The goal is to have a great race weekend and a good time in Dubai during these 5 days.

With a mix of semi and professional teams, our goal will be to concentrate on the basic of what we are doing, that is enjoying racing TOGETHER. We need each other to have a race, because otherwise you would be driving out there on your own, which makes no sense and gives no fun. Therefore, we invite only the teams to come to Dubai who have respect for each other cars, material and opinions. This in order to get the right atmosphere during this event. We do expect all teams, no matter big or small, to help each other out when one having problems, we do expect people to behave with respect to the all participants, organization and all other people involved.

Only such attitude will make this adventure to a success. Of course, at the end of the day, someone will have made the most laps and get a trophy, but we need to win all!

We have won all when everybody one his plane back is realizing which unique experiences it has been, and is looking forward to next year! The only ones who can realize this are you all; the participants.

Khalid Al Qubaisi will spearhead the Abu Dhabi Black Falcons Mercedes team at the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai

UAE teams and drivers set to shine on international stage

The 2012 edition of the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai has one of the most potent line-ups of teams and drivers with distinct UAE roots than ever before and it is not inconceivable that one of these takes top honours when the chequeured flag drops on Saturday afternoon at the end of the race.

In the past UAE teams have impressed, in some instances winning their respective classes, but this year there are a trio of teams, with local input, that have all the ammunition to surprise the international contingent.

First of these, and perhaps a pre-race favourite, is the potent Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 which is campaigning in this season’s NGK UAE GT Championship with great success. Owned and driven by Leon Price the team also has the services sportscar ace and all-round speedster Rob Barff, who is joined by multiple UAE champion Jordan Grogor and the very quick Charlie Hollings. The team are based adjacent to the Dubai Autodrome grandstand at AUH Motorsports and have made no secret of their intentions.

Barff said: “We are using the NGK UAE GT Championship as a testing ground for our Dunlop 24 Hours campaign. Running the car in local conditions and in race trim provides us with valuable feedback. Our goal is to win the race in January.”

Another entry that is an automatic pre-race favourite is the Abu Dhabi Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3 which will be spearheaded by local hero Khaled Al Qubaisi, who will be part of one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid and includes Porsche Cup star Sean Edwards along with DTM stalwarts Jeroen Bleekemolen and Thomas Jaegar.

The third A6 Class team capable of upsetting the big guns are the pair of Gulf Team First Lamborghini Gallardo LP600s with the likes of Fabien Giroix, Frederic Fatien, Roald Goethe Lamborghini Gallardo, Archie Hamilton, Stuart Hall and Mike Wainwright on duty. The team will finalise the driver/car pairings closer to the time.

Giroix is no stranger to Dubai Autodrome, his workshop is behind the paddock, and he campaigns in the NGK UAE GT Championship. Last year he personally snatched pole position for the race. This year the goal is to go one further and finish with a win.

Gulf Team First are also running an Aston Martin Vantage N24 GT4 in the SP3 Class, another NGK UAE GT Championship regular, with regulars John Iossifidis and Martin Baerschmidt being joined in the cockpit by Yusif Bassil and Keiko Ihara.

The UAE’s top touring car drivers, frequent winners in the Total UAE Touring Car Championship, will be past of the action in three separate entries spread over three classes.

The Moutran brothers: Ramzi, Nabil and Sami, will be joined by Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Kahlifa in the Duel Racing Seat Leon Supercopa which has a proven race winning pedigree having set the pace for most of this season in the local touring car series. Local knowledge and strong pace should see them vying for top honours in the A3T Class.

In the A2 Class, Lap57 will be running the only locally built race car when they wheel out their Honda Integra Type R. On duty in the cockpit will be the cream of local touring car drivers with double UAE champion Umair Khan leading the charge, with able support from former UAE champion Mohammed Al Owais, Khalid Bin Hadher, Saeed Al Mehairi and Rupesh Channake.

Khan said earlier this year: “Each time we have competed in the 24 Hours of Dubai we have learnt something new. With this experience – coupled to a good car, strong drivers, commitment and team work – we have a good chance of doing well on our home track. The goal will be to win our class.”

Last but by no means least is the SVDP Racing BMW 120D with former UAE champion Spencer Vanderpal sharing driving duties with Chris Wishart, Jonathan Mullan and Peter Moulsdale. The outfit has local knowledge as their trump card and have now racked up three 24 hour races which will play into their favour in terms of experience.

Team Manager Ian Rodgers said: “The objective is for the car to spend as little time in the pits as possible so that we are out on the track racking up the laps, to get the car to the finish. We will be seeking quick but consistent lap times from the drivers.”

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