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There are not many certainties in the fast-moving world of international motorsport, but there is no doubt that racing action in the new calendar year starts with the Hankook 24H DUBAI. This year is no exception and therefore, Dubai Autodrome will be hosting the first major international endurance race for GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials for the 14th consecutive time already!

“Dubai is where it all started for us with CREVENTIC’s inaugural race back in 2006,” says Gerrie Willems on behalf of the Dutch agency, organisers and promoters of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook in co-operation with the DNRT (Dutch National Racing Team). “It makes us proud and grateful to see how the event has developed over the years thanks to the continuing support of Dubai Autodrome and Hankook as our title sponsor, combined with the loyalty of our teams and drivers. It is the flagship of our series and ranks as one of the major international endurance race events.”

This year’s race in Dubai marks the start of the 2019 Championship of the Continents in the 24H GT SERIES and the 24H TCE SERIES. Next to the race in the United Arab Emirates as the Asian round of the championship, the best score from CREVENTIC’s two 24-hour races in Europe, the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO (5-7 July) and the Hankook 24H BARCELONA (30 August-1 September) as well as the result from the American round, the Hankook 24H COTA (15-17 November) are taken into account. To be eligible to score points, teams have to have participated in rounds on all three continents.

Almost 80 cars for Dubai endurance classic

In Dubai, a field of almost 80 cars is expected with 57 entries in the 24H GT SERIES and 22 registrations in the 24H TCE SERIES. A total of 33 different nationalities is represented in the field, an impressive sign of the international status of the event. Interest from the Far East is particularly increasing with no less than 13 drivers from Hong Kong and seven from Japan.

The A6 class for GT3 and similar GT cars is the largest category with 22 cars, including a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3s from last year’s Dubai race winners,

Black Falcon. Other noteworthy entrants in the A6-Pro class include Audi powerhouses WRT, BWT Mücke Motorsport, Car Collection Motorsport and Attempto Racing, Czech Ferrari team Bohemia Energy with Scuderia Praha, KCMG from Hong Kong with a pair of Nissans, Lamborghini outfit GRT Grasser Racing Team and multiple 24H SERIES race winners, Herberth Motorsport with a Porsche 911. The A6-Am class includes several teams with Mercedes-AMG, including former title winners Hofor Racing, Chevrolet Corvette, Audi R8 LMS, Porsche 911, Lamborghini Huracán and BMW M6.

The SPX class includes Vortex and MARC silhouette cars, a BMW, a Lamborghini and a Porsche. Twelve Porsche Cup cars have been entered for the 991 category. The SP2 class consists of a pair of KTM X-Bows while the GT4 class reflects the increasing popularity of this category with 14 cars from Audi, BMW, Ginetta and Mercedes-AMG.

13-car TCR class spearheads touring car division

An entry of 13 cars for the TCR class spearheads the touring car division in the 24H TCE SERIES. Audi, Cupra, Honda, SEAT and Volkswagen are all represented in this class. Entries in the SP3 class include a Vortex, a Porsche and a Ginetta while the A3 class consists of two Lotus Elises and a BMW. A pair of BMW M235i Racing Cup cars in the CUP1 class rounds out the field.

For the first time, the Hankook 24H DUBAI will have single-seater action on its support programme with the F4 UAE series featuring as the official support category of the event with no less than four races. Wednesday, 9 January, is reserved for private testing and the popular welcome party with barbecue in the paddock at Dubai Autodrome in the evening. Official track action gets underway on Thursday, 10 January, with free practice sessions from 9.45-14.00 hrs, followed by qualifying for the 24H TCE SERIES from 15.15-16.00 hrs and for the 24H GT SERIES from 16.15-17.00 hrs. Night practice is scheduled from 19.00-20.30 hrs. On Friday, 11 January, there is a warm-up from 11.00-11.30 hrs. The race starts at 15.00 hrs and runs until the chequered flag will be waved on Saturday, 12 January, at 15.00 hrs, followed by the prize-giving ceremony.

Live streaming in HD quality will be available on the series’ website and Youtube channel.

Three-round 24H SERIES Middle East Championship and TCR Middle East to start on 25-26 January

Only a fortnight after the Hankook 24H DUBAI, CREVENTIC will already be organising its next event in the United Arab Emirates as the inaugural 24H SERIES Middle East Championship will get underway with the first of three rounds. Participation in the Hankook 6H DUBAI (25-26 January) is open for prototypes, GTs and touring cars. The 2019 TCR Middle East touring car series, promoted by CREVENTIC, will also get underway at the same weekend with a pair of races at Dubai Autodrome. Grids with sizes of 15-20 cars are expected for both series. The others rounds of the 24H SERIES Middle East Championship are the Hankook 4H ABU DHABI (1-2 February) and the Hankook 10H DUBAI (7-8 February), with the TCR Middle East present for both events as well.

Source. Creventic/Photo. Petr Frýba


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