Britain’s newest international GT team, Ram Racing, is looking forward to being a key player in this weekend’s 8th running of the 24 Hours of Dubai, the year’s first major motor sport endurance event, to be run from 1400 hours (local time) on Friday, January 11 until the same hour on Saturday, January 12.
The British team’s gleaming white and blue liveried No.30 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 has been dispatched to the Middle East ready for next weekend.
The 30-year-old American replaces Brazilian Jaime Melo who fractured his foot just days prior to leaving for the United Arab Emirates.
The Anglo-US trio are joined by Indian Cheerag Arya for the team’s international racing debut and the race is being viewed by the team as a dress rehearsal for the 2013 ELMS season ahead.
Although a relatively new event, the 24 Hours of Dubai has grown considerably in stature over the past few years and the ultra-modern 5.39km Dubai Autodrome track has become a favourite of drivers.
It offers a combination of high-speed straights and technical corners which, combined with the size of the entry-list, makes it a challenging prospect for all competitors.
Briton Johnny Mowlem, already announced as a full season Ram Racing regular, will not only be acting as Arya’s professional driver coach but will also be able to highlight any potential pit falls facing the new squad in the relatively unfamiliar surroundings of the Arabic endurance event.
“The race is quite unique, with echoes of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, as all competitors have to refuel at a central petrol station and with 85 cars on the entry list that can sometimes mean queuing up!
We’ll be taking a conservative approach in the race, mindful of the many different levels of machinery. The hardest thing will be closing speeds and keeping focus on that for 24 hours but if everything goes well I think we could achieve a good result.”
Fellow British driver and 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Guy Smith is excited about the new challenge facing him and Ram Racing: “It’s a great race and over the years it’s become more and more appealing with the number of different drivers and teams who go to the event.
It’s a very, very credible race and a great way to start the season: whenever you’ve got a 24-hour race at the start of the year it’s the ultimate challenge and anything after that seems easy!”
The ALMS Dyson Racing driver continues: “I’m really excited to be going there for the first time. Ram Racing is a brand new team but I’m certain it’s up to the challenge and the Ferrari 458 is certainly one of the best, if not the best, in the field.
It’ll be a learning experience but I’m going there hopeful we’ll get a good result. If we stay out of trouble we’ve got every chance of getting on the podium.”
The organizers have put together an impressive live TV package and commentary from the expert team of Radio Show Ltd, the people behind Radio Le Mans, for the first international endurance race of the year for touring cars, GTs and 24H Specials.