Race fans merged on Dubai Motor City on Wednesday evening to celebrate the GT and TCE race cars, and drivers, that will compete at this weekend’s Hankook 24H DUBAI.
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
A mix of GT3, 992, GTX and TCE machinery made their way, on public roads, from the Dubai Autodrome pitlane to First Avenue Mall in neighbouring Dubai Motor City, and was met by a jubilant crowd of race fans. Drivers and team personnel alike representing close to two dozen nationalities and myriad motorsport disciplines then posed for photos and signed autographs in the build-up for the 18th edition of CREVENTIC’s biggest race every year.
Drivers on parade included 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, who returns for his third appearance at the Hankook 24H DUBAI with Wolf-Power Racing; three-time overall event winner – and the UAE’s own – Khaled Al Qubaisi, who lines up once again for fellow three-time winner Hubert Haupt’s eponymous Haupt Racing Team; Moutran brothers Ramzi, Sami and Nabil, the 2015 Overall 24H SERIES champions who return for a crack at a fifth class win at their home event; and reigning Overall GT3 Drivers’ ‘European’ champions Pierre Kaffer, Elia Erhart and Michael Doppelmayr, who this weekend compete for Phoenix Racing with 2016 event polesitter, Christer Jöns. Likewise, Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster and Shane Lewis, who secured the Continents Trophy for CP Racing last December in Kuwait, were on fine form with the crowd. The American quartet will hope to replicate its 2021 GT3-Am class win with Britain’s Philip Quaife this weekend.
Peter Freij, CREVENTIC operational manager: “The parade is a recent hallmark of the Hankook 24H DUBAI weekend, one that we always enjoy arranging in collaboration with the Dubai Autodrome and Motor City developers, Union Properties. It’s always a thrill to see the likes of Mercedes’ AMG GT3, Porsche’s 911 Cup, and BMW’s M4 GT4, among many others, running on public roads through the Motor City, a region that has been at the heart of CREVENTIC since our first-ever event back in 2006. Given the very positive response from the crowd and our competitors alike, we’re hopeful that the parade will become an event staple over the coming years.”
Following two hours of official Free Practice on Friday 13 January, the 54-car grid will contest 70 minutes of Qualifying for the 2023 Hankook 24H DUBAI. After Night Practice later that evening, the green flag for the race proper will fly at 15.00 hrs local time on Saturday 14 January. 24-hours of uninterrupted racing will then be brought to a close when the chequered flag is flown at 15.00 hrs on Sunday 15 January.