Dubai 24H: Event press conference
Chairman Khalfan welcomes record field to Dubai Autodrome
At a press conference this morning at Dubai Autodrome, Chairman Saeed Khalfan welcomed competitors who will be participating in this weekend's Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, which this year is the largest number of entries ever for the event that has been on Dubai's sporting calendar for the past six years.
He said, "Welcome to Dubai Autodrome drivers, teams and race fans for the sixth edition of the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai. We have over 90 entries from 30 countries this year which is the most ever for this event and is the perfect way to start the year's international motor racing calendar."
Khalfan, who hosted the press conference, was joined at the top table by Saleh Mohammed Al Geziry (DTCM Director of Overseas Promotions & Inward Missions), Ahmed Mohammed Al Rahoomi (Dubai Sports Council Director of Corporate Communications & International Relations), Gerrie Willems (Creventic Event Organiser) and Gary Wassell (Dunlop Motorsport Manager).
Also present at the function, along with both local and international media, were a number of drivers and team managers who during the course of the conference gave their views about participating in the event.
Californian race driver and team boss Boris Said was one spoke, "This is my first visit to Dubai and all I can say is that this is an amazing place. You have to come here to believe it. Hospitable people, amazing buildings and a real honour to be racing at Dubai Autodrome this weekend."
In the pit garages and paddock of the circuit situated in the heart of Motorcity, teams are in the final stages of preparations for practice and qualifying. Over 400 drivers from around the globe will be in action and most of them were present at the circuit preparing for the race with seat fittings, team briefings, strategy meetings and all the fine tuning required prior to an event of this magnitude.
This year sees one of the strongest fields ever assembled as the dominant Porsche juggernaut faces the sternest challenge from the likes of Mercedes and BMW.
For race fans the emphasis is on "family friendly" environment throughout the race weekend, while keen enthusiasts and "petrolheads" will have unprecedented access to the paddock and grandstand providing fans with a true "up close" experience of motorsport.
Khalfan concluded, "For race fans, admission is free to watch this world- class event and, besides the amphitheatre and the grandstand, visitors will also allowed in the paddock to get a first hand feel of the excitement."
Thursday sees a full day of action with practice and qualifying, with the race on Friday starting at 2pm and running until the next day, Saturday, 2pm.