Countdown To Bahrain 24 Hours
With only one week to go until the start of the inaugural 24 hour race at the Bahrain International Circuit (December 15-16), there is still no official list of starters published. In fact, a number of teams are still looking for drivers. Drives with BMW or Porsche teams, among others, are available; drivers with suitable experience and budget should contact Mr. Horst Helmuth Bube, chief manager for the 24 Hour Race of Bahrain, for more information:

Email: ruhrblitz@t-online.de
Tel ++49 234 9325815
mobile ++49 171 2166079

Currently, the organisers expect some 35 to 40 teams to contest the desert adventure.

“Quite obviously, this is a smaller number of competitors than the one we had hoped for,” admits Horst Helmuth Bube, Head of the Organisation. “On the other hand, there are a lot of top-class teams on the grid, therefore, there is no need to be frustrated. Quality is more important than quantity and we are convinced that we are going to witness a thrilling race.”

A handful of teams have emerged as favourites. Land Motorsport enters a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, for Patrick Simon / Dirk Adorf / Christian Land / Hermann Tilke.“We travel to Bahrain to win,” stresses Wolfgang Land. “Our preparations for the final race of the year have been extensive and our chances shouldn’t be too bad.”

Dieter Quester / Philipp Peter / Vincent Vosse / Jarek Janis should be in contention, at least, in the Duller Motorsport BMW Z4 M Coupé – a 24 hour race winner already, of course, on its debut. Two out of two? They might need the Land Porsche to hit trouble, although the BMW has the fuel consumption advantage. “No doubt: the competition will be tough,” admits Team Principal Hermann Duller, “but we also travel to Bahrain to secure the win. We can cover a bigger distance before having to make a refuelling pit stop than most of our rivals. Maybe this will turn out to be our advantage, in the end.”

Richard Lietz / Christian Menzel / Klaus Graf / Sheik Salman Al Khalifa (the latter from Bahrain) will race the Lechner Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. “Following a difficult Porsche Carrera Cup season it will be vital for me to secure a good result to end the season on a high,” says Christian Menzel. “And I’m optimistic that everything is possible, with this team. Our Porsche is very sound and represents a perfect basis. If we take care of it and avoid making major mistakes we will be among the front-runners.”

Anther significant runner is the Aston Martin V8 Vantage for Dr. Ulrich Bez (Aston Martin's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer), Chris Porritt (Aston Martin's Vehicle Engineering Manager), Horst von Saurma (editor-in-chief of Sport Auto magazine), and development driver Wolfgang Schuhbauer. This squad finished the ‘Ring 24 Hours this year. "In June we delivered exactly what we set out to do by finishing the 24 hours without any technical problems or team issues,” comments Dr. Bez. “The race marked a real achievement for both the car and the team and to celebrate this we wanted to make the car available to customers who are motorsport enthusiasts wanting to participate in amateur racing." The yellow Aston Martin is even taxed for road use until next April.

Next week’s race will be the first event to be held on the Bahrain International Circuit’s new 6.140-kilometre endurance layout. The event begins with nine hours of free practice (for those who don’t mind wearing out their cars) and the race starts at 14.00 next Friday afternoon.

 

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