The 2014 Dubai 24 Hours already has 80 confirmed entries, and the provisional entry list has some very familiar names attached.[Not a valid template]
Any prospective entrants for the upcoming Dubai 24 Hours may want to get a wiggle on, since 80 entries are already confirmed and grid slots are dwindling away quickly ahead of the green flag on 9-11 January. And while the identity of the drivers is still a mystery, there are more than a few notable team names preparing for 2014’s first international endurance race.
Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon returns to take a crack at victory number three, the squad fielding two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s as it did during its previous victories in 2011 and 2012. Competition for the three-pointed star comes from Car Collection Motorsport and 2012 FIA GT1 World Champions All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport team, following the team’s Dubai 24 Hours run last year in a SEAT Leon.
Last year’s Dubai 24 Hours runner-up AF Corse brings the Ferrari 458 GT3 back to the Dubai Autodrome, and hopes to go one podium step higher in 2014. RAM Racing, following the team’s event debut last year, will be hoping for a less dramatic 24-hour run than 2012, while local boys Dragon Racing – after showing tremendous speed on home turf last year – will be looking for a solid result in A6. France’s VISIOM squad rounds out the Ferrari challenge in A6.
Home fans will also want to look out for the Saudi Falcons Team Schubert BMW Z4s. Despite a rough end to proceedings in 2012, the team showed mighty impressive pace, Claudia Huertgen setting the fastest lap of the race in the early going and leading convincingly before problems struck. Opting against a two-pronged attack, Nissan GT Academy Team RJN enters just one Nissan GT-R GT3 in 2014.
Sceptical eyes may scoff at Charger’s Racing’s Dodge Charger entry, the local entry going up against fellow UAE runners NFS Dubai’s Ginetta G50, Red Camel Jordan’s Audi R8 and the questionably-named Bonk Motorsports entry, a BMW M3 GT3: appropriate, given the all-BMW gaggle of A5-category competitors vying for class victory just behind. De Lorenzi Racing doubles up in the Porsche exclusive 997 category, while Aussie squad Racing Industries spoils a European-centric S2 class in the Ford Focus.
Last year’s A2 class winners LAP57 Racing returns for another shot at glory, principal competition coming from Racing 4 Friends’ MINI JCW Coupe and Qatar’s QMMF squad with the Suzuki Swift. Memac Ogilvy Duel Racing, after a tough campaign that ultimately yielded a podium in 2013, will be looking to overthrow last year’s A3T category-winning Racing Divas. SVDP Racing meanwhile will hope to duplicate their 2013 D1 category win in the BMW 120D.
So, for those of you with a couple of thousand dollars to spare and for whom a weekend without sleep seems tempting, slots are still available for the 2014 Dubai 24 Hours.