Black Falcon Team Dubai 24 Hours preview

Black Falcon Team Dubai 24 Hours preview

04.01.2017: The still of the desert is about to be shattered by the sound of hundreds of thousands of horsepower unleashed around

The still of the desert is about to be shattered by the sound of hundreds of thousands of horsepower unleashed around the Dubai Autodrome, and Team BLACK FALCON will be right in the thick of the action.





2017 will barely be two weeks old when Team BLACK FALCON decamp from their Nürburgring base to make their way to the United Arab Emirates and the 12th running of the Hankook 24 Hours Dubai endurance race.



With the start of another year, another packed season of racing awaits. Team BLACK FALCON’s resolution is as strong as ever: this is a race that the team have always performed well at. They’ve won overall in three of the last five editions of the 24-hour race and finished second in 2016, whilst also claiming many strong finishes in multiple other classes over the years.
 


The round-the-clock race in Dubai has grown from an important regional event into the de facto start of the international endurance racing calendar.



As the race has increased in stature, so an increasing number of high profile teams have signed up, and over the years we’ve seen many new cars make their debut in Dubai, such as with Team BLACK FALCON’s Mercedes-AMG GT3s last year.



However, the influx of professional teams and drivers hasn’t dulled the enthusiasm of the semi-pro and amateur entrants, who still make up a significant portion of the grid and help contribute to making the Hankook 24 Hours Dubai such a great event.
 


The provisional entry list is already touching one hundred cars spread across 11 classes, from the high powered GT3s down to diesel saloons, so the race is guaranteed to be frantic with so many cars of different classes and almost 500 drivers of different experience taking part.



Completing any 24-hour race is a huge challenge, but when you throw such a mixed grid into the mix it becomes even more difficult to complete – let alone win.



But the track’s 5.39km, 19-turn rollercoaster layout offers everything a race driver loves, from flat-out blasts to highly technical sections, though with elevation changes hiding several apexes and braking points it means there’s rarely a chance to relax. Anything is possible in a 24-hour race, and it could be happening just over the next brow…
 



Team BLACK FALCON’s entries will be in the top echelon A6 class. The team are entering a pair of GT3-specification, 6.2-litre Mercedes-AMG GT3s.



The driver squad for car #2 comprises local driver Khaled Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands), Patrick Assenheimer (Germany) and Manuel Metzger (Germany).



The team’s second Mercedes, #3, will be crewed by Abdulaziz Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Hubert Haupt (Germany), Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands), Michal Broniszewski (Poland) and Maro Engel (Germany).



Six of the nine drivers have previously stood on the top step in Dubai; Khaled and Jeroen have actually won twice together driving for Team BLACK FALCON, in 2012 and 2013, with one win each for Abdulaziz, Hubert and Yelmer in 2015.


 
This year three Porsches are competing under the BLACK FALCON TEAM TMD FRICTION banner, with a pair of Porsche 991 GT3 Cup machines in the 991 class alongside a Cayman GT4 in SP3-GT4.



The Porsche 991 #68, will have Saud Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Anders Fjordbach (Denmark), Saeed Al Mouri (Saudi Arabia) and Alexander Toril (Spain) taking turns behind the wheel, whilst the sister car #69 features BurkardKaiser (Germany), Sören Spreng (Germany), Miguel Toril (Spain) and Bandar Alesayi (Saudi Arabia). Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (Turkey) and Gabriele Piana (Italy) will be sharing the #243 Cayman GT4 with VLN specialists Aurel Schoeller (Germany) and Fidel Leib (Germany).


 
There will be almost 30 GT3 cars competing for the top spot in Dubai, but winning an endurance race is about more than being fast: as Team BLACK FALCON’s impressive results show, you’ve got to be smart. Experience counts for a lot, and the dedicated team of mechanics and engineers will be working behind the scenes to provide their drivers with the best possible shot at victory.
 


You can support Team BLACK FALCON across social media: follow the team via twitter.com/TeamBlackFalcon, facebook.com/teamblackfalcon/ and instagram.com/teamblackfalcon to get live action updates direct from the track, as well as fantastic images of the team in action.



 The Hankook 24 Hours Dubai will be shown live on Motors TV, whilst full live timing and streaming coverage in HD of the all the main sessions will be available at www.24hseries.com. There will also be English-language radio commentary of the race online provided by the Radio Le Mans team (www.radiolemans.com).
 




Hankook 24 Hours Dubai (12-14 January 2016)

Provisional Timetable:



Thursday 12 January


12:15-12:45 Free Practice 1, Class D1, A2, A3, CUP1, TCR, SP3-GT4
13:00-13:30 Free Practice 2, Class A6, SPX, SP2, 991 & 997
13:30-15:25 Free Practice 3 All Classes
16:30-17:00 Qualification 1: Class D1, A2, A3, CUP1, TCR, SP3-GT4
17:15-17:45 Qualification 2: Class A6, SPX, SP2, 991 & 997
18:00-20:00 Night Practice
 


Friday 13 January


10:00-10:30 Hankook 24 Hours Dubai Warm-up
12:45 Grid Formation
14:00 Start of the 2017 Hankook 24 Hours Dubai
 


Saturday 14 January


14:00 Finish of the 2017 Hankook 24 Hours Dubai
14.15 Podium ceremony




- Black Falcon, photos Sportscode

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04.01.2017 / MaP

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