Yas Marina Circuit Enter All-Emirati Team for First 12-Hour Race
Saeed Al Mehairi, Mohammed Al Mutawa, and Thani Bin Thani to race Aston Martin GT4 in Gulf 12 Hours
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 19 January 2011: Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management announced today its entry of an all-Emirati team in the first 12-hour endurance race at Yas Marina Circuit, the Gulf 12 Hours. Scheduled for this Friday, January 20, the team consisting of Saeed Al Mehairi, Mohammed al Mutawa, and Thani Bin Thani will compete in Yas’ Aston Marin GT4.
The Gulf 12 Hours will feature race cars from around the world in the GT2, GT3, GT4, Porsche Cup and Prototype categories. The teams will compete in two 6-hour races, and will have just 40-minutes to work on their cars during the break between races.
“The race is a great platform for introducing endurance racing to Yas Marina Circuit and region,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management. “It provides an internationally recognized event where local stars can compete with drivers from around the world on one of the best motorsports circuits.”
“Our target,” continued Cregan, “is to develop this event so that it is the number one endurance race in the GCC and will attract as many international and local drivers, as possible. We are pleased to be supporting three of the UAE’s best drivers in this race.”
“I’m excited to be part of an all-Emirati team competing in the first endurance race at Yas Marina Circuit,” commented Saeed Al Mehairi. “There are quite a few really good drivers here in the UAE and this is a great opportunity for us to race against an international field.”
Fellow teammate, Thani Bin Thani added, “Endurance racing is not easy; it is very different from the one-hour races that we are used to in the UAE GT Championship. It involves a lot of stamina, concentration, and consistency, and will be a much greater challenge, both physically and mentally.”
“There are several categories of car involved in this race,” added Mohammed al Mutawa, “from the much faster GT2’s and GT3’s, to our GT4s. This difference in performance will mean that the racing will be very busy from start to finish. Not only will we be focused on trying to overtake the car ahead of us, but we will also have to be watching in our mirrors to avoid holding up the faster categories.”
“The 2012 Gulf 12 Hours will be the first step of a multi-year agreement with Yas Marina Circuit,” said Andrea Ficarelli, Director of Driving Force Events, the organizer of the Gulf 12 Hours. “Together with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, our intention is to develop this race into a classic. Hence, we have been very selective in the categories and cars that will make up the grid, which will include special race variants of the world’s most popular supercars.”
Ficarelli continued, “in addition, we feel that the format of two 6-hour races will create a superb spectator experience. We are keen to include garage tours, pit lane walks, and grid access in between each of the races.”
Race 1 begins at 9:30am and will continue through to 3:30pm. There will be an hour and half break between races, allowing spectators entry to the pitlane to watch mechanics work on the cars. Race 2 starts at 5pm and ends at 11pm.
Race cars eligible for the 2012 Gulf 12 Hours are as follows:
1) GT2 Cars
2) GT3 Cars – such as the Aston Martin DBRS9, Audi R8 LMS, Ferrari 458 GT3, Ford GT GT3, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, and Porsche 911 GT3 R.
3) GT4 Cars - cars complying with SRO’s GT4 European Cup Regulations like the Aston Martin GT4, BMW M3 GT3, Corvette C6, and Maserati Trofeo.
4) Cup Cars – including the Porsche Carrera Cup, Renault Megane Eurocup, and Lamborghini Supertrofeo.
5) FIA Group CN Cars (in compliance with FIA Article 259)
6) Other classes to be decided based on team requests.
Teams with cars that do not belong to any of the classes listed above can apply for invitation. In order to minimise the gap between the fastest and the slowest cars, touring cars with power less than 300 BHP will not be admitted.
About Yas Marina Circuit:
Yas Marina Circuit is one of the most technologically advanced motor racing facilities ever developed. Located on Yas Island, the circuit debuted on October 30, 2009 with the final race of the FIA Formula One World Championship - the inaugural Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to a capacity crowd of around 50,000. Year round, Yas Marina Circuit hosts an extensive programme of leading international and national motorsport racing series as well as major entertainment events and corporate activities. Supplementary facilities include the Yas Drag Racing Centre, the Yas Racing School and the Yas Kartzone.