24 Hours of Dubai 2013 (Live Stream)
Today you can follow live all the action of the 24 Hours of Dubai. The annually held endurance race organized at the Dubai Autodromo features a broad selection of touring- and sports cars and marks the opening of the 2013 endurance season.
Organised by Dutch agency CREVENTIC in co-operation with DNRT and the Dubai Autodrome Motorsports Club, the race has become established as the most international endurance event of the year. The entry list for this year’s event shows a total of 82 teams from 18 countries and drivers with 41 different nationalities, competing with 25 different car brands. The race once again promises to be thrilling affair!
No less than 27 cars have been entered in the A6 class, predominantly for machinery to international GT3 standards. With Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Audi R8 LMS ultra, BMW Z4 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper Competition Coupé, Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 plus, McLaren MP4-12C GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, Porsche 997 R, RSR and Cup S, this class is filled with breath-taking sportscars which, theoretically, could all be contenders for overall honours. Last year, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 cars locked out the podium in Dubai, but BMW and Porsche are also in the winners’ list of the event and both brands again have a strong presence. Moreover, the debut of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in Dubai is being eagerly awaited, the car having won the 24H BARCELONA last September.
The SP2 class has eight entries, including Renault Mégane and GC Automobile silhouette cars, a Chevrolet Corvette, an Audi TT RS and two new cars: a BMW M3 silhouette and the Belgian VDS GT 001-R, which is making its competition debut. The 997 class for Porsche Cup cars includes seven teams, while the SP3-GT4 class is the second-biggest category with twelve participating teams, running Aston Martin, BMW, Ginetta, GC, Lotus, Nissan and Porsche cars. A special feat: all the winners of the various Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competitions will be on the grid for this year’s race.
The A3T class includes three SEAT Leon Supercopa cars and a BMW 320D with an all-female line-up, the five Dutch lady racers once again competing under the ‘Racing Divas’ banner. Traditionally, the A4 class is an all-BMW affair, while various BMWs and a pair of Lotus cars have been entered into the A5 class. In the D1 diesel class, a Volkswagen and a SEAT will be up against three BMWs and the A2 class has nine entries, with a Honda, a Citroën C2, a Lotus Elise, three Minis and as many Renault Clios.
With a fastest lap time of 1:59.104 minutes, Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen put the Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 with starting number 1 on pole position for the Dunlop 24H DUBAI. Bleekemolen is sharing the car with Brit Sean Edwards and Khaled Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi, the two drivers he already teamed up with to win the Dunlop 24H DUBAI last year. For the 2013 race, the three are joined by German stalwart Bernd Schneider, a five times’ DTM champion. The Attempto Racing-Porsche (#26, Ivo Breukers/Kévin Estre/Nicki Thiim/G. Angel Benitez/Henry Hassid) qualified second, the Craft Racing AMR-Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (#15, Frank Yu/Tomonobu Fuijii/Darren Turner/Darryl O’Young/Stefan Mücke) ended up third, followed by the two Saudi Falcons Team Schubert-BMW Z4 GT3s (#24, Abdulaziz Al Faisal/Faisal Binladen/Jörg Müller/Claudia Hürtgen/Dirk Müller and #12, Abdulaziz Al Faisal/Faisal Binladen/Dominik Baumann/Dominik Schwager/Dirk Adorf).
Claiming pole position was a great reward for the Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon for the immense effort that the team members put in after their original car was seriously damaged during a crash in testing on Wednesday. The team acquired a replacement chassis from the British Preci-Spark outfit that had brought a spare car to Dubai for testing purposes and the Black Falcon mechanics worked all night to convert that car from its sprint configuration to make it suitable for a 24-hour race. “They put the engine, the gearbox, the fuel tank, the suspension and many other parts from our original car in and really did an amazing job, because the car felt great,” said Jeroen Bleekemolen. “The fact that I was able to claim pole on what was only my third lap of the weekend at the Dubai Autodrome is almost unbelievable.” With one Mercedes-Benz, one Porsche, one Aston Martin, two BMWs, two McLarens, two Ferraris and one Lamborghini in the top ten, the first five rows of the starting grid for the race (start tomorrow at 14.00 h local time, 11.00 h CET) shows a great mix of GT3 machinery.
Adding to the Black Falcon team’s success, the Black Falcon Team TMD Friction-Porsche 997 Cup (#44, Christian von Rieff/Chistian Raubach/Burkard Kaiser/Erwin Stückle/Patrick Huisman) qualified on pole for the 997 class. The fastest SP2 car in qualifying was the Besaplast Racing-Audi TT RS (#89, Franjo Kovac/Martin Tschornia/Fredrik Lestrup/Wolfgang Kaufmann/Roland Asch).
RJN Motorsport’s two Nissan 370Z cars with the winners of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competitions locked out the first two positions in the SP3 class. Spaniard Lucas Ordonez, the winner of the initial Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition in 2008, was fastest in class with the number 127 entry (Lucas Ordonez/Wolfgang Reip/Mark Schulzhitskiy/Steve Doherty/Roman Rusinov) with a time of 2:09.020 minutes, immediately followed by the sister car minutes (# 147, Sabine Schmitz/Peter Pyzera/Mark Schulzhitskiy/Steve Doherty/Alex Buncombe), driven by Alex Buncombe to a time of 2:09.651 minutes.
Fastest A3T car was the Allinkl.com-SEAT Leon Supercopa, driven by reigning FIA GT1 World Champion Marc Basseng, with a time of 2:14.405 (# 38, René Münnich/Marc Basseng/Markus Winkelhock), just ahead of the all-female Dutch ‘Racing Divas’ line up in the Schubert Motorsport-run #121 BMW 320D (Liesette Braams/Sheila Verschuur/Gaby Uljee/Paulien Zwart/Sandra van der Sloot).
Dutch team JR Motorsport were pace-setters in A5 with their BMW E46 GTR (#63, Pieter van Soelen/Harry Hilders/Koen Bogaerts/Bas Schouten). The YMOR/Bas Koeten Racing-BMW Z3 M Coupé (#75, Martin van den Berge/Richard Budding/Simon Gras/Jaap van Lagen) was fastest in class A4 with a lap time of 2:14.951 minutes set by Simon Gras while German Thomas Tekaat claimed pole in class A2 for the #102 Besaplast MINI Cooper S (Franjo Kovac/Martin Tschornia/Fredrik Lestrup/Ralf Eisenreich/Thomas Tekaat). Fastest D1 car in qualifying was the #116 Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT Leon TDI (Kane Austin/Klaus Kresnik/Chris Gleeson/Toni Büeler/Ivo Breukers).
You can tune in here for the live stream from Friday 10:00am GMT until Saturday 10:00am GMT and participate in discussions with other endurance fans in our chatbox as the race progresses. For news updates, entry lists, sporting regulations, timing and more visit the 24H Dubai website here.
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