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Jan 07, 2014 - 03:49 PM
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Press Conference Report: Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai
Posted by: newsla on Jan 07, 2014 - 03:41 PM
Sports Cars
Press Conference Report: Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai


Speaking at the official press conference for the 2014 Dunlop 24 Hours on Tuesday (7 January), Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and FIA Vice President hailed the event for the quality field it has attracted, while acknowledging that the Dubai race is now a respected mainstay of the international motor racing calendar.

 

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The ninth edition of the event, which takes place on 9, 10 and 11 January at Dubai Autodrome, is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.

Dr. Ben Sulayem said, "We have seen this race grow not only in size but also in quality. We have top teams and top drivers competing for what is one of the most prestigious endurance race trophies on the international motor racing calendar. We must congratulate all concerned for the efforts and hard work that goes into making the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai happen."

"This event has also enabled us in the UAE to showcase the progress in our own motorsport development, not only teams and drivers but also officials, marshals and all the support staff behind the scenes who make it all happen, and help make it the success that it has become," added Dr. Ben Sulayem.

Rain affected the press conference which was to feature top local karting drivers in a race against drivers competing in the Dunlop 24 Hours race. The 'shootout' could not happen due to the wet conditions at the time of the press conference.

Gerrie Willems, spokesperson for organisers Creventic, said, "We are proud of the quality of teams and drivers that have entered this year's race which we have now hosted for the past nine years here in Dubai. But this is not the work of one organisation, as I must thank the ATCUAE and Dubai Autodrome for their efforts which have helped us make this event the flagship endurance race of our portfolio."

A total of 80 cars are expected on the grid when the UAE flag waves to start the race at 14:00 pm on Friday, with over 300 drivers doing duty during the course of the 24 hours, backed up by over 1000 support crew.

Teams are up for the challenges of the race as crew unloaded equipment and began final preparations for unofficial testing on Wednesday, followed by practice and qualifying on Thursday.

Team managers will no doubt be well aware that rain is always a possibility at this time of the year in the city, and thus conditions will play a vital role in the way the event pans out - mastering these effectively will be the key to success in the race.

The event - which will be televised live on Motors TV, through You Tube and live streaming on live.24hseries.com/ - will be covered by 130 accredited journalists, photographers and TV crews from around the globe.

Dubai Autodrome general manager Richard Birch observed, "This time of the year in Dubai the weather is great for visitors who come here from freezing conditions in Europe and North America. However rain is always a possibility as today [Tuesday] has proved. Of course we are well prepared for this, but it adds an intriguing element to the vast challenges that a race of this nature throws up for teams and drivers to contend with."

"Nevertheless I welcome all visitors to our great city and sincerely hope everyone enjoys this weekend of racing. Thanks to Creventic and the ATCUAE who are more than partners for their collective efforts. We have also seen the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing embrace this event, further enhancing the status of the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai. We thank them all for their valuable input," concluded Birch.

On track action starts on Wednesday, 8 January with optional Private Testing which should see most of the ‘big guns’ out to dust off the festive season cobwebs.

The first of three Free Practice sessions will get underway at 11:30 am on Thursday, 9 January. This is followed by three qualifying sessions, the first of which gets going at 15:00 pm on the same day.

Race day on Friday, 10 January, track action starts at 10:30 am with a half hour warm-up, with the race set to be flagged off at 14:00 pm. The chequered flag will wave, to bring proceedings to an end 24 hours later, on Saturday at 14:00 pm. This will be followed by podium ceremonies for all classes.

Entry for spectators is free throughout the weekend, including qualifying and race days, with access to grandstands and the Paddock Village where a myriad of activities will be on hand to keep fans thoroughly entertained.


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