Mohammed Ben Sulayem hails Hankook 24h Dubai as phenomenon of Middle East motorsport

Mohammed Ben Sulayem hails Hankook 24h Dubai as phenomenon of Middle East motorsport

13.01.2016: Photo caption: Mohammed Ben Sulayem with Khalid Al Qubaisi (left) and Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal

Photo caption:  Mohammed Ben Sulayem with Khalid Al Qubaisi (left) and Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal during his pitwalk at Dubai Autodrome.

11th edition Hankook 24H Dubai boasts 100 car field, 32 UAE-based drivers;

Dr Ben Sulayem unveils Mercedes AMG GT3  with two-times winner Khalid Al Qubaisi

ATCUAE President Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem was the guest of honour during the official meet and greet pit lane walk at Dubai Autodrome today, where a VIP entourage was introduced to drivers and senior team members who will take part in the 11th edition of the Hankook 24H Dubai.

Dr Ben Sulayem, accompanied by an entourage of VIPs including senior management of Dubai Autodrome and race organisers Creventic, addressed international media during the occasion and said: “The Dubai 24 hours is not merely a race; it is a phenomenon of Middle East motorsport.

“We have been part of this event for the past 11 years and each year it gets better. Bigger grids, professional drivers, great teams make this a unique event and is now firmly established among the top endurance races of the world.”

Dr Ben Sulayem will flag off the 100-car field on Friday at 14:00pm and added: “I'm really impressed with the international level of participation in the 11th edition of the Hankook 24H Dubai this year. I would like to wish all the drivers all the best in this year’s battle.”

During the meet and greet Dr Ben Sulayem took part in the unveiling of the all new Mercedes AMG GT3 which will make its racing debut, on the international stage, this weekend at the Autodrome in the colours of Abu Dhabi Racing by Black Falcon with Khalid Al Qubaisi looking to score an unprecedented hat-trick of victories in a race he won in 2012 and 2013.

Al Qubaisi is one of 32 drivers with roots in UAE racing, among them Emirati drivers Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, Saeed Al Mehairi, Abdullah Al Hammadi, Mohammed Al Owais and Ahmad Al Malahi. 

Several other UAE Champions include Karim Al Azhari, Bassam Kronfli, Jordan Grogor, Spencer Vanderpal, Umair Khan, Ramzi Moutran, Nadir Zuhour, Jonathan Mullan and Rupesh Channake.

Al Qubaisi said during the unveiling of his new car: “Racing in front of your home crowd is always special and serves as a big motivator for the team. But this year is going to be even more special because we will be the first team to race the newly launched Mercedes AMG GT3, which is making its world debut at the Dubai Autodrome. We of course are targeting the title, but it will not be easy with a record-breaking grid of 100 cars.”

During his walk down the pitlane Dr Ben Sulayem visited the pit garages of Memac Ogilvy Duel Racing and met with the Moutran brothers Ramzi, Nabil and Sami as well as fourth driver Phil Quaife. The ATCUAE President also looked in at Dragon Racing who have two Ferraris in the field, and also greeted drivers and crew of several international teams.

Dubai Autodrome General Manager Richard Birch said: “It was great to see Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem interacting with drivers and teams in the pitlane. As a former rally driver and champion he clearly has the respect of his peers. It was an ideal way to kick-start what is going to be a great weekend of action at our venue.”

On track action began on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the Hankook 24H Dubai weekend, with optional private testing at the Autodrome with most of the top teams taking the opportunity to run their cars in advance of official practice and qualifying on Thursday.

The 2016 Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai takes place on 14 to 16 January 2016 at Dubai Autodrome, with qualifying practice on Thursday ahead of the start at 14:00pm on Friday.

Entry with access to grandstands and the paddock area is free for spectators, with family friendly activities scheduled throughout the weekend.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem with Khalid Al Qubaisi (left) and Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal, and Dubai Autodrome’s Abdullah Lanjawi during the pitwalk ahead of the Hankook 24H Dubai this weekend.

Hankook 24H Dubai Race Weekend Schedule:

Thursday 14 January 2016

11:30 – 12:00 Hankook 24H Dubai Free practice 1, Class A2, A3, CUP1, TCR, SP3
12:05 – 12:35 Hankook 24H Dubai Free practice 2, Class A6, SPX, SP2, 991, 997
12:35 – 13:30 Break
13:30 – 16:00 Hankook 24H Dubai Free practice 3 ALL Classes
16:15 – 16:45 Hankook 24H Dubai Qualification 1: Class A2, A3, CUP1, TCR, SP3
17:00 – 17:30 Hankook 24H Dubai Qualification 2: Class A6, SPX, SP2, 991, 997
17:30 – 18:00 Break
18:00 – 20:00 Hankook 24H Dubai Night practice

Friday 15 January 2016

10:30 – 11:00 Hankook 24H Dubai Warming up
11:45 – 12:45 Break
12.45 Start grid of the Hankook 24H Dubai
14:00 Start of the Hankook 24H Dubai
20.00 Fireworks

Saturday 16 January 2016

14:00 Finish of the Hankook 24H Dubai
14:15 Publication of results
14.15 Podium ceremony (All Class Winners)
2016 Hankook 24H Dubai Links:

- Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photos


13.01.2016 / MaP

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