Dubai, UAE, 9 January 2019: Emirati rally legend and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) Mohammed Ben Sulayem toured the team garages and pit lane at Dubai Autodrome (DA) today ahead of the renowned Hankook 24H Dubai which will thunder into action at 15.00 on Friday (11 January).
Ben Sulayem was joined by dignitaries from the ATCUAE, organisers Creventic and officials from Dubai Autodrome, including DA General Manager Faisal Al Sahlawi.
In what has become an annual tradition, Mohammed Ben Sulayem and his guests visited the busy pit lane and race garage areas at Dubai Autodrome to chat with teams and media.
He made stops at several garages to meet with team personnel, including last year’s winner Black Falcon. The team showcased two formidable Mercedes AMG GT3 race cars ready to challenge again for victory. The #2 car, with drivers Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Saud Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Yelmer Buurman will attempt to repeat last year’s glory and defend the win.
Ben Sulayem was met by Emirati ace Khaled Al Qubaisi, who will be one of the favourites to triumph in the #3 Black Falcon Mercedes, along with drivers Luca Stolz, Jeroen Bleekmolen and Ben Keating. Al Qubaisi and Bleekmolen are especially familiar with the top step of the podium as both drivers were part of the winning Black Falcon line-up from 2012 and 2013.
The ATCUAE President was also greeted by another illustrious Emirati racer, Saeed Al Mehairi, who will spearhead Dragon Racing’s pursuit of the GT4 Class trophy, along with drivers Rob Barff, Phil Quaife and Josh Webster. The headquarters of Dragon Racing is based in the race paddock at Dubai Autodrome, so the team has plenty of experience on the circuit to take on the best international competitors.
A massive grid of over 80 cars will roar into action at 15.00 on Friday, 11 January and race for 24 continuous hours. Many of those cars will not make it to the end of the gruelling race and only the most determined, reliable and skilled team will take the winner’s crown.
The Hankook 24H Dubai will conclude at 15.00 on Saturday, 12 January, followed by the famous pit lane celebration featuring the winning drivers riding on camels to the podium.
Race fans can expect to witness an incredible collection of GTs, touring cars, and 24H specials including race machines from Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ginetta. KTM, Lotus, Audi, Nissan, BMW, and Seat.
Entry into the Grandstand and Race Paddock areas is free for spectators. The new Fan Zone at the Grandstand Village will be packed with activities for the entire family including car displays, gaming areas, sheesha, freestyler competitions, entertainers and gourmet food trucks, while the kids can enjoy bouncy castles, a cartoon zone, bungee jumping, bubble/magic shows and face painting.
The Fan Zone will also feature special performances by singer Ibby VK and the world’s best MJ tribute artist, Mudassar Jackson.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Arthur Rosales and Aaron Meriwether