Event>>toyo Tyres 24 Hours Of Dubai – Race

The chequered flag has been waved and the first endurance race of the season, the Dubai 24 Hours, has ended. As widely predicted it was a triumph for Porsche. However what was not predicted, widely or otherwise, was the car that would take victory. The two 997 RSR models of Autorlando and Land Motorpsort were expected to romp away from the field but in 24 hour races things are rarely as they should be.

In fact victory was snatched by the narrowest of margins by the second Land Motorsport car, a 997 GT3 Cup model.

The crew, Gabriel Abergel, Carsten Tilke, Niclas Kentenich and Andzei Dzikevic completed 573 laps of the Dubai Autodrome finishing only 49 seconds in front of the second place car. The victory was a combination of fast but safe driving and great pitwork, the car only spending 64 minutes in the pits which was considerably less than their rivals.

A surprise second, which in reality should have been first was the Al Faisal racing BMW Z4 Coupe, driven by Claudia Huertgen, Abdualziz Al Faisal, Paul Spooner and Stain Sorlie. The BMW was in contention right from the flag and looked to be ready to win when with about an hour left to race it suffered a rear right puncture, sustaining bodywork damage. To compound this the team was penalised a lap for taking a short cut on the circuit while running on the punctured tyre. Huertgen was mighty in the last hour chase of the leader taking chunks of time out of the gap with each lap but the clock ran down before they could get into contention.

Another Porsche 997 GT3 Cup was third, this example being run by Besaplast Racing Team.  In contrast to the winner, this car featured very experienced ex_DTM pilots, Kert Thiim and Roland Asch plus Roland's son Sebastian, and Martin Tschornia and Franjo Kovac. At the flag they were just one lap behind the leader.

Fourth was another Porsche and another car that seemed destined to win but somehow the prize slipped away. The ARC Bratislava 911 GT3 is seen here in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab hotel.

What of the SpeedHunters cars I hear you say? Well amazingly the Hubert BergH Motorsport Porsche 997 SuperCup finished fifth overall, a fantastic performance.

The car ran as high as second place before the first round of pitstops and after half way was never out of the top six places. A more detailed look at the race from their perspective will be published during the week.

The Mitsubishi Motors UK Evo X fared less well. After sorting a few issues that affected practice, the team rose steadily up the ranking during the first few hours.

Then disaster struck, when a spring failed in the clutch. This was only the first in a series of problems, but the crew stuck at it, sorting out whatever misfortunes befell them and getting to the finish was reward in its self. Once again more about this team during the week.

Misfortune and disaster seemed to be a main part of the script for the race, sometimes on the track like this shunt that happened around dawn to the Hungarian Ford Fiesta.

Sometimes the disaster was mechanical, I did not ask what was wrong with this Mini, the assembly line laid out around the car tells its own story.

And of course there is also the old favourite, driver error. Perhaps the most high profile incident was Formual One designer, Adrian Newey, sticking his Ferrari F430 into the pit wall and breaking the steering rack while leaving the refueliing area, his team mate Joe Macari was not best pleased.

Refueling was a bit different to say the least. Partly because of cost ( no on board fuelling system, no fuel rigs to transport) and partly on safety grounds there was a common refuelling area away from the pitalne where the cars were served by ordinary petrol pumps like any garage forecourt. There were 8 pumps by my count and at busy times this could mean a bit of a wait for a full tank.

The night was really long with over 13 hours between sunset and sunrise. The track outside of the pit and paddock area was pitch black so the the sight of the sun rising above the cranes at around 7.00AM was welcomed by all.

Construction site and towering cranes are a ever present feature of the Dubai skyline and the Autodrome is no exception. Almost the whole perimeter is undegoing development as Motor City comes to life.

Fortunately some traditions are observed in full by the Dubai Autodrome, so some leggy ladies are an antidote to the rough and ready drivers.

The 2009 Toyo Tyres 24 Hours of Dubai was a popular and well run event to get the season underway. Despite the prevailing economic problems it seems that at the right price and with the right product there are still plenty of folks willing to turn up and race and here in Dubai they put on a pretty good show.

John Brooks



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great covrage & great pictures

dubai wow


Good write up john looking forward to the team report from the Hubert BergH Motorsport guys will be good to see their perspective, A 24 hour race is something I need to do at some point in my life, there can be few things that are as intense as an endurance race, though my budget would be more 2cv than European GT


i really love those technology exposed pictures!


Nice small coverage..... picture 15 of dawn in desktop please!!!!!!


On that picture of that Fiesta that crashed theres a Mustang.... Any more pics of that? =] and great pictures!


Great result!!!!!


Homer - there is a 24hr 2CV race you know :) would love to try that LOL


the Speedhunters Porsche has the best graphics - Really smart


@All apologies for the typos and spelling mistakes, it was a long two days with virtually no sleep, so writing in those conditions is not ideal but we felt that getting the report up soon after the race was the SpeedHunters spirit.. Of course it should be Kurt Thiim who is an ex-DTM Champion.

@Sgtrubberducky (great handle) I plan to do a picture piece later in the week, so a Mustang or two for you then.

I am sitting down now to write up the BergH story, so keep an eye on the site we have posts coming from Mike in Tokyo, Rod In London, Antonio in SoCal and me in Dubai...........never a dull moment here.

John Brooks


Hi,....nice blog....but i guess u shd hav added more crash & recovery pics also.....coz i ilike the crash part of the race most...... ;)


@Dexter.............I don't really do crash & recovery pix.............this is not the Whacky Racers...........try demolition derbies for that stuff..........the object of a 24 Hour race is to get to the finish, contact with other cars will make that all the harder.

I'll leave it at that.



Nice to hear that the Hubert BergH Motorsport finished 5th overall. A great way to start the new year for you guys eh? Haha, well at least the team did give it their best even though they are not as fast as the Land Motorpsort or the Al Faisal BMW Z4. Looking forward to seeing more photos and reports from the race.....


That picture of the crashed Fiesta with the other cars going around it is excellent. With its lights out an being so obviously mangled, the Fiesta looks dead, like an animal fallen by the wayside as its companions charge on, uncaring.


Hearing about the Ferrari F430 being wrecked after it was the one that won the 24 hours of Le Mans for Risi Competizione in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni, Jamie Melo and Mika Salo made me a little sad but all of the pictures are excellent, good work