Dunlop 24H of Dubai about to go underway!
DUBAI (January 11th, 2010) -- Only one day to go before the action starts at the Dubai Autodrome for the sixth edition of the Dunlop 24H of Dubai, the first international endurance race of the year for GTs, touring cars and 24H specials. "All the containers have arrived and from this morning, team members start unloading their cars and their equipment and setting up their pit boxes. The first cars will be on the track tomorrow", says Gerrie Willems on behalf of Dutch agency CREVENTIC, organisers and promoters of the Dunlop 24H of Dubai.
Walking around in the paddock of the Dubai Autodrome, enjoying the bright sunshine and the pleasant temperatures of around 25 degrees, while most people in Europe are still freezing in snow and ice, you just can't ignore the sense of anticipation among the drivers and team members to start with the action. The first chance for drivers to familiarise themselves with the circuit are the so-called "rent-a-car-rides" on Wednesday morning, a regular fixture at CREVENTIC events, where everyone can go out on the track with road-legal cars at a maximum speed of 60 km/h. This session is followed by four hours of private testing, during which teams can test their race cars for the first time. Another nice tradition is the Welcome Party, which will be held in the paddock for the first time. "The Welcome Party is being organised in co-operation with the Tourism Board of the United Arab Emirates and will be held as a barbecue-party for everyone to enjoy the Arab hospitality", says Gerrie Willems.
On Thursday, there are taxi rides from 10.00 till 11.00 h, during which drivers can take a guest around the circuit in their race cars. A pair of free practice sessions (11.30-12.15 and 13.15-14.45 h) will be followed by qualifying to determine the starting grid positions for the big race (15.00 till 17.30, split up into three heats). After qualifying, night practice is scheduled from 18.00 till 20.00 h. On Friday, warm-up takes place from 10.30 till 11.00 h while the race starts at 14.00 h and finishes 24 hours later.
Full grid with teams from 19 countries
This year's sixth running of the Dunlop 24H of Dubai will be the biggest one yet, with a full grid of 90 teams from 19 different countries. In terms of car brands, it will not come as a surprise that Porsche has the largest presence with 20 cars, followed by BMW with 15 cars, Renault with nine cars and SEAT with eight cars. These numbers already reflect the great variety on the starting grid: while all the Porsches will be competing either in the special Porsche Cup class or in the A6 division and are likely to be contenders for top positions, most of the Renaults are Clios from the A2 class. The BMWs are a mix of Z4, M3, 325i and 1-series including quite a few diesel-powered cars. Competition for the Porsches is likely to come from three Ferrari 430s as many Lamborghini Gallardos and also three Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGs, the gullwing-sportscar making its 24-hour debut in Dubai. Other cars on the grid include Mosler, Gomez Competition, Brokernet, Ford, Corvette, Audi, Ginetta, Aston Marton, Lotus, Donkervoort, Saker, Opel, Honda, Mini and Volkswagen.