The wait is over, the containers are empty, and the paddock is set. Dubai’s version of Le Mans’ 24Hr classic race – now in its seventh year – is poised to be one of the best yet. Of the 75 confirmed entries, piloted by drivers from over 38 different countries, 40 remain genuinely in with a shout at victory.

To help build the suspense, we thought you might like to see some sneaky shots our man on the ground at the Autodrome and his trusty collection of camera lenses have snapped of the cars hitting the circuit for the first time.

Still in prime position for victory are the Saudi Falcons as the Schubert Motorsport-run outfit aims to be the first team to win the event consecutively. Their feathered opposition at Team Abu Dhabi Black Falcon will be pushing hard to strip them of this privilege, as will last year’s runners-up AF Corse SRL.

With Porsche presence never bigger at the Dubai 24Hr – with two classes established just for the German marque alone – the opportunity to leapfrog BMW as the event’s most successful manufacturer, four wins to three.

Team has attracted particular media attention, with this group of ladies from the Netherlands being the first all-female line-up ever at the Dubai 24Hr. Expect their Renault Clio RS to mix it with the best of them.

As if a former-DTM Champion, current LMP2 Le Mans Champion, and a host of GT race winners weren’t competitive enough, this year’s entry list also boasts a Schumacher. Mrs Ralf (Cora) will compete with the Besaplast Racing Team in their Mini Cooper in the fight for A2 Class honours.

Check out results from the upcoming practice sessions live at the Dubai Autodrome at >>>

Shots by Pete West

James Gent first started as a freelance motorsport writer in the UK, before an urge to be paid a monthly wage saw him move to Dubai in late 2011. A keen motoring enthusiast, he hopes that one day his garage will hold a Lamborghini Countach, as well as a WRC Lancia Delta Integrale.

James Gent