One week removed from the 2021 Hankook 24H DUBAI, the 24H SERIES is back in action in the United Arab Emirates with its second-ever visit to the Yas Marina Circuit. But which will be the teams to look out for in the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI?
24H SERIES stalwart Car Collection Motorsport is sure to be among the frontrunners at the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI. A former Hankook 24H DUBAI winner, and fresh off two GT3-AM class podium finishes at this year’s event, the German squad is also a former A6 Teams’ champion. Car Collection is set to an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in Abu Dhabi for Antares Au, Chris Froggatt and John Loggie (#88).
A high profile run in Dubai could have produced so much more for Inception Racing by Optimum, rear suspension failure and close to 30 minutes stuck in the garage regulated the McLaren 720S GT3 to a 10th place finish at the flag. With those issues resolved though, might Inception Racing by Optimum (#72, Brendan Iribe / Ollie Millroy) be a dark horse in Abu Dhabi? Optimum Motorsport is a former multi-time class winner after all, and the British team led 25 laps outright early doors at this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI.
Driveshaft issues brought Attempto Racing’s run in Dubai last week to a premature close, but don’t be too quick to count out the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (#99, Alex Aka / Finlay Hutchison / Markus Winkelhock) in Abu Dhabi. The Austrian team is a former Dubai podium finisher and is still looking to collect its first 24H SERIES win. Why not Yas Marina?
The sole Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo of the field will be entered by former 24H SERIES Continents Overall GT Teams’ champion, Leipert Motorsport (#710, Gerhard Watzinger / Gregg Gorski / Fidel Leib), which, brief drivetrain issues aside, took a commanding GTX class win one week ago in Dubai. A similarly strong run at Yas Marina will no doubt be the goal.
PROFILDOORS by Huber Racing (#924, Gabriele Rindone / Matthias Hoffsümmer / Manuel Lauck), which signed off its 24H SERIES debut in Dubai with a classified 4th in-class, rounds out the GT division entrants.
An impressive line-up in the TCE division meanwhile boasts three teams that took class victory at last week’s Hankook 24H DUBAI.
GT4 winner ST Racing (#438) will be back in action with its BMW M4 GT4, set to be driven by team figurehead Samantha Tan, and American teammate Jon Miller.
TCX winner PK Carsport (#208, Bert Longin / Peter Guelinckx / Stienes Longin) is back in action in Abu Dhabi with its BMW M2 CS Racing, and will be joined by TCX runner-up, CWS Engineering. The British team, a former SP3 Teams’ champion in the 24H SERIES, will once again field two Ginetta G55s for team owner Colin White and Jean-Francois Brunot (#278), and Michael Tischner and Simon Orange (#279).
What had looked to be a smooth run to TCX victory in Dubai for Sally Racing was derailed when the CUPRA suffered clutch failure, costing the Danish team more than two hours in the garage. With two CUPRAs on the grid in Abu Dhabi for Morten Eriksen, Bjarne Haa and Jesper Sally (#215), and Peter and Mikkel Obel and Martin Sally Pedersen (#218), Sally Racing will be hoping for better luck second time out in the United Arab Emirates.
Myriad suspension problems scuppered any hope of a good result in Dubai for the Red CamelJordans.nl CUPRA (#101), but don’t be too surprised to see the inaugural TCR SPA 500 winner – set to be driven by father-son Ivo and Rik Breukers, and American teammate Max Hanratty – at the sharp end in TG this weekend. Ditto Zengő Motorsport (#133), the eponymous team of Zoltán Zengő that’s been a mainstay of the World Touring Car Championship / World Touring Car Cup since 2010 and is one of the few returning teams to have competed in the 24H MIDDLE EAST SERIES. Zoltán is set to pilot the Hungarian team’s CUPRA alongside Csaba Tóth.
British GT and PROTO specialist Simpson Motorsport, which ran a solid race to finish 8th in-class at the Hankook 24H DUBAI, completes the TG line-up with its Audi RS3 LMS DSG (#138, Sacha Kakad / Ricky Coomber / Jonathan Mullan).
- Words – James Gent
- Images – Petr Frýba