Dubai 24H: Event qualifying report

Porsche takes pole as UAE based teams impress Qualifying for the Dunlop Dubai 24 Hours of Dubai took place today at Dubai Autodrome and the Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche took pole position in an action packed session. 72 of 78 entered cars set...

Porsche takes pole as UAE based teams impress

Qualifying for the Dunlop Dubai 24 Hours of Dubai took place today at Dubai Autodrome and the Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche took pole position in an action packed session. 72 of 78 entered cars set times for the event which is held under the patronage of His Highness Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Imsa Performance MATMUT drivers Raymond Narac, Patrick Pilet and Marco Holzer were pleased with their team performance and Pilet, who was the fastest driver of the team, got in at the very last moment, and said in a press conference afterwards: "We're very happy with these results, we hope it's a good sign for tomorrow. I liked the way the track was, lots of grip on it, so it was a very exciting qualification. There was a great deal of traffic but that is what this type of race is about."

Second fastest was the Gravity Racing International Mosler, with Vincent Radermecker as fastest driver in the team. Third fastest overall was De Lorenzi Racing Porsche whose fastest driver Marco Cioci: "I think this is a great job by all of the team, I'm really happy for everyone. I think this is a very good sign for tomorrow as I think we definitely have a shot at a win."

The fifth edition of the 24 Hours of Dubai is notable for the big involvement by UAE based teams and drivers. Multiple UAE champion Karim Al Azhari, driving for the VDS Racing Adventures Mustang team was twentieth. He said afterwards, "It is great to be competing here on my home track. It is a long race and anything can happen. We are confident of a good showing."

Third in the ultra-competitive SP3 Class was the AUH Motorsport Aston Martin headed up by Emirati driver Humaid Al Masaood and including Dubai based drivers Michael Prophet and Eric Charles, with the sister AUH Motorsport Aston Martin was fifth in class. Team principal Carl Rolaston was happy with the performance, "This is our first 24 hour race and we kept a good pace and are in touch with the fast guys in our class. This is a learning curve for us and so far we are on track with the aim of finishing and hopefully scoring a podium."

Defending class champions, UAE based, DXB Racing were seventh in class. The team were unperturbed about being somewhat down on their rivals as the team know what it takes to win and the philosophy prevailing in their pit garage is that the race is not won in qualifying or even the early stages of the race.

The Duel Racing Renault Clio driven by the Moutran brothers Ramzi, Nabil and Sami along with Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa was among the front runners in the A2 Class throughout practice and qualifying. They eventually managed fourth place in class.

Al Qasba Lap 57 UAE Team were enjoying their first 24 Hours of Dubai in a brand new Honda Civic with the Al Owais brothers Mohammed and Omran, Saeed Al Mehairi and Umair Khan behind the wheel. Teething problems did not dent their ambitions as Omran Al Owais said, "We want to put on a good performance and our goal is to be on the top step of the podium."

-source: dubaiautodrome

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Marco Cioci , Raymond Narac , Patrick Pilet , Eric Charles , Humaid Al Masaood , Omran Al Owais , Umair Khan