There’s more than half a year left to go before the green flag drops, but more than 80 entrants have already signed up for the 2018 Dubai 24 Hours
We cannot display this galleryMore than 80 entrants will be hoping 13 is lucky for some as a preliminary entry list for the 13th Dubai 24 Hours next January is released. Notable additions to the preliminary 2018 Dubai 24h entry list include Herberth Motorsport (GER), whose Porsche 911 GT3 romped to victory at this year’s event with 2015 World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley at the wheel. Fellow former winner and Blancpain Endurances Series champion Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (BEL) is also set to battle for outright honours with one of three Audi R8 LMS’ to have been confirmed for the event thus far, the others being the sister machines from Car Collection Motorsport (GER).
As expected given Mercedes’ successful record at Dubai – which is beaten only by Porsche – the AMG GT3 will be well represented in 2018. Reigning 24HSERIES champion, and last year’s A6-Am category winner, Hofor-Racing (SUI) heads the three-pointed charge alongside England’s RAM Racing and dual entries from Germany’s SPS automotive performance. Clearly the Lamborghini Huracán’s recent form at the Nürburgring though has garnered some interest, with four A6 teams – HB Racing (A), Konrad Motorsport (A), GRT Grasser Racing Team (A) and Attempto Racing (GER) – entering the Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Here’s hoping the Italian rampant bulls fare better than they did in 2017…
The prospect of a Ginetta G55 victor in the SP3-category looks bright too, with reigning class winner Century Motorsport (UK) and Optimum Motorsport (UK) looking to continue their podium-dominating battle in 2017 with two entries apiece. The Porsche 911 Cup also looks set to dominate SP2 proceedings, with only three of the eight confirmed entries – VDS Racing Adventures (B, MARC Focus V8), Vortex V8 (F, GC Automobile 10) and reigning category winners Bovi Motorsport (H, Brokernet Silver Sting) not opting for Porsche machinery.
The fight for TCR category honours meanwhile looks set to be hotly contested: TCR’s 15 confirmed entries is nine more than 2017 and is higher than any other class thus far barring the headline A6. Race veterans Bonk Motorsport (GER, Audi RS3 LMS), Red Camel-Jordans.nl (NED, Seat Leon TCR) and Zest Racecar Engineering (UK, SEAT Leon TCR) return for 2018, while Team Altran Peugeot (F), following its A3-category win last year, steps up to the TCR category for 2018 with the 308 Racing Cup. They leave Cor Euser Racing (NED), Hofor-Kuepper Racing (GER) and PB Racing (ITA) to fight for A3 honours.
A new GT4 category will also be introduced next year in Dubai, series organisers Creventic explaining that a fresh raft of new GT machinery from Mercedes-AMG, BMW, McLaren and Porsche among others has opened the door for a fresh wave of competitors. Thus far two McLaren 520S GT4s – Equipe Verschuur (NED) and ALFAB Racing (SWE) – and two Ginetta G55s – Nova Race (ITA) and Perfection Racing Europe (DEN) – have signed up for the 2018 Dubai 24 Hours.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest endurance race in the Middle East has its fair share of local teams aiming for another crack at victory. GP Extreme – you can check out who they are HERE – will once again enter a pair of RenaultSport R.S.01 in the A6 class after making their race debut in 2017, while GDL Racing will defend its SPX category win with dual Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeos. Lebanon-based Memac Ogilvy Racing meanwhile are set to challenge race:pro motorsport (GER) and track-club (UK) for 911-category honours at an event that’s offered fluctuating fortunes for the former 24HSERIES champions in recent years.
Though still in its infancy, the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Dubai 24 Hours is not without its surprises. UAE local boys and two-time former winners Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon have yet to confirm their attendance, nor too has fellow UAE competitors and former class winners Lap57 Motorsports.
- Click HERE to see the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Dubai 24 Hours