Seven dozen teams featuring drivers from 41 different countries in 25 different makes of car are preparing for the eighth Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, which starts at 2 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) on Friday, Jan 13 at the Dubai Autodrome.
The Dubai 24, the first major endurance race of the season, is part of the 24-Hour series sponsored by Dutch company Creventic which includes Australia’s Bathurst 12 Hours (Feb. 10,) Twelve Hours of Hungary (April 6,) and the Barcelona 24 Hours (Sept. 7–8.)
All of these races feature fields of the most exotic GT machinery on the planet, with cars from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari, and McLaren competing with Aston, Lotus, Corvette, Nissan, and a Dodge Viper; plus sports coupes from Renault, Honda, Mini, Seat, and Volkswagen; lesser-known brands like Ginetta, racing specials like the GC Automobile GC10, and one-offs like the VDS GT 001-R.
This wide variety of cars is divided into nine classes, creating races within the race. The most attention goes to the top class, A6, where teams like Black Falcon and Saudi Falcon Team Schubert compete to be repeat winners, while internationally known teams like AF Corse try to upset them.
America is represented in the A6 class by the newly formed DragonSpeed Racing, seeking an overall win with its Audi R8 LMS Ultra. The team’s driver lineup is packed with talent: Americans Eric Lux and Peter Aronson, Vicente Potolicchio from Venezuela, Germany’s Pierre Ehret, and Japan’s Hideki Onda.
DragonSpeed is the only U.S. team, but not the only team with Americans behind the wheel.
Another U.S. star, Gunnar Jeannette, will be driving with two famous Brits, Johnny Mowlem and Guy Smith (all three should be familiar to ALMS fans,) and India’s Cheerag Arya in the Ram Racing Ferrari 458.
Another American, Steve Doherty, is part of the SP3-class GT Academy Team RJN 1 team, co-driving its Nissan 370Z. Also in SP3, Dutch team Cor Euser Racing includes U.S. drivers Shane Lewis (who set fastest GX lap at the Grand-Am Roar Before the Rolex 24 last weekend) and Vic Rice in a GT4 Lotus Evora.
Cor Euser has also entered a D1 class BMW 120D with Americans Steve Goldin and Scott Finlay as part of the driving team.
Denmark’s Perfection Racing Europe also features a pair of Americans, Frank Montecalvo (another name familiar to ALMS fans) and Rob Nimkoff. This team is also in SP3 with its GT4 Aston Martin Vantage V8.
Practice for the 24-hour event starts at 11:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday, Jan. 10, with qualifying starting at 3 p.m. (6 a.m. ET) Follow the action with live streaming and timing and scoring at 24hdubai.com.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 20 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.