The opening race of the nine-stop 2021 24H series, Hankook 24H Dubai, will be flagged off at 3pm on Friday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Taking place under the patronage of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the 16th running of Hankook 24H Dubai will bring Dubai Autodrome alive this weekend with more than 250 drivers across 54 cars, representing 12 brands and 33 nationalities, on the grid in one of the world’s most exciting 24-hour endurance race.
The opening race of the nine-stop 2021 24H series, Hankook 24H Dubai will be flagged off at 3pm on Friday and the winner will take the chequered flag 24 hours later.
Most eyes will be glued on Emirati ace Khaled Al Qubaisi.
The star-studded list of drivers includes five former outright Hankook 24H Dubai winners in the hotly-contested GT3 category, but most eyes will be glued on Emirati ace Khaled Al Qubaisi, who, alongside Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hubert Haupt, won the event for a record-breaking third time in 2020, adding to his victories of 2012 and 2013.
“The 2012 Hankook 24H Dubai was Mercedes’ first 24-hour win since the Sauber C9’s win at Le Mans in 1989, so the car went straight into Mercedes’ museum in Struttgart after that race,” Qubaisi, the only Emirati driver to have won the event outright, was quoted as saying on the official 24H SERIES website. “It was also my first Dubai win, with Jeroen, Sean [Edwards], and Thomas Jager. And it was kind of surreal.
“At the time, I just I couldn’t believe what we’d managed to achieve, because it was on only my second attempt. It involved a bit of luck – winning in Dubai always does – but it was mostly down to our preparation, and working with the right team and the right car on the right strategy.
“That 2012 win just gave me so much momentum, and basically catapulted me into international endurance racing. And because we had the ability, and proven that we could get the job done, Jeroen, Sean and I came back again with Bernd Schneider in 2013 with Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon. And we won again! “It actually looked like we could win the Hankook 24H Dubai for the third time in a row in 2014. Unfortunately, we hit some problems while we were leading, so we could only finish third. That was still a good result for the SLS and Black Falcon, but coming off the back of two wins, we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.” The disappointing finishes continued for the following five years until Qubaisi won the Hankook 24H Dubai for a record third time in 2020.
Hankook 24H Dubai will bring 12 brands and 33 nationalities, on the grid in one of the world’s most endurance race.
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