The battle for class and outright victory at the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI looks set to be a tough one on 14-15-16 January. Up to a dozen teams having already confirmed multiple cars for the 16th annual 24-hour event at the Dubai Autodrome, half of which have previously taken outright victory at the event in either the GT or TCE divisions.
Haupt Racing Team, the eponymous entry of three-time event winner Hubert Haupt, is set to bring two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos to the Hankook 24H DUBAI. The latest evolution of record-five-time event winner Black Falcon, Haupt Racing will surely be among the pre-event favourites.
WRT collected Audi’s first outright win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI as ‘Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’ in 2016, and has since taken overall podium finishes in 2019 and 2020, the latter in collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s MS7 race team. The Belgian team has entered two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos for the 2021 race, as has 24H SERIES mainstay Car Collection Motorsport, which took its first outright GT win at the event in 2019.
2017 Dubai winner Herberth Motorsport furthers its support of CREVENTIC with its first four-car line-up for a 24H SERIES event in January. Alongside its Porsche 911 GT3 R trio in the GT3 class, the reigning GT3-PRO Teams’ champion is also set to make its first-ever start in the ‘991’ class with a Porsche 911-II Cup.
Across in the TCE division, reigning Overall TCE Teams’ champion Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing has gone all out for its third Hankook 24H DUBAI. The Swiss-German collaboration, which took TCE victory at the 2019 Hankook 24H DUBAI in their first race together, has registered entries for three Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs as the team begins its title defense in the UAE.
2020 TCE winner AC Motorsport meanwhile is set to bring two cars to a 24H SERIES event for the very first time, the Belgian squad and perennial title contender having registered two Audi RS3 LMS’ in the TCR class.
Alongside these former GT and TCE outright winners, several other former Dubai class winners have also registered multiple cars for the 14-15-16 January weekend.
MRS GT-Racing, which took its second consecutive class win in Dubai in 2020, will bring two Porsche 991-II Cups to the Middle East in the hopes of securing a hattrick. Competition will doubtless be tough against newly crowned 991 Teams’ champion, Speed Lover, the Belgian squad having also two Porsche 911-II Cups for the category.
Hankook 24H DUBAI regular HRT Performance has confirmed three Porsche 911-II Cups for Dubai, while 24H SERIES staple Bas Koeten Racing will return to GT division action with two Porsche 911-II Cups (one of which will race under the ‘NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing’ banner’) alongside the teams’ TCE-dedicated CUPRA TCR. During a frenetic 2020 season, NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing secured the first-ever outright win for a 991-class entrant at a 24H SERIES event on CREVENTIC’s first official visit to Hockenheim.
CWS Engineering, a former SP3 class winner in Dubai in 2018, has entered two Ginetta G55 GT4s for the 14-15-16 January weekend, with team namesake and founder Colin White no doubt sure to be among the driver line-up. Among the British team’s nearest competition will be LAMERA-CUP, the French squad, and former 24H SERIES class winner, having registered two of its eponymous lightweight sports cars.
With entries continuing to flood in for the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI, 50 cars have already completed freight preparations and will begin shipping next week. Several more teams meanwhile continue to express an interest and are expected to finalize registration shortly. Further details regarding the 14-15-16 24-hour event can be found HERE, and there is still time for interested parties to register their entries HERE.
Images courtesy of Petr Frýba