The Dubai 24 kicks off in the desert with four AMR's among the healthy grid

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The first officially scheduled sessions of the 2022 24H Series finally got underway today for all the teams at the Dubai Autodrome after some managed to get in some private testing beforehand at the circuit earlier in the week.

Over eighty cars are scheduled to compete within this year’s event with four Aston Martin Racing powered teams racing amongst them within the GT3 and GT4 classes.

German based PROsport Racing were amongst the first at the circuit and were able to carry out some post freight shakedown testing as Nico Verdonck clocked in some laps in both their Vantage GT3 and GT4 cars on Monday whilst the remaining Dual Racing with TF Sport and Heart of Racing teams had to wait until today before their respective driver line ups were available at the circuit.

With that, TF Sport had to sadly report today changes in both line up and class today as Sam De Haan has been forced to remain at home due to COVID restrictions so his place within their #95 AMR Vantage GT3 will now be taken by Ahmad Al Harty. Also dropping down from the Pro-Am GT3 class to the GT3 Am Class means that Charlie Eastwood can no longer participate with the team alongside Ramzi, Nabil and Sami Moutran.

Whilst very unfortunate for both De Haan and Eastwood, the lure of the Asian Le Mans Series with the team just a month after the Dubai 24hr remains at their forefront of their minds and at least provides Al Harthy with some unscheduled seat time before that four round series.

Having ventured to the Middle East for what will be their first international racing venture has the US based Heart of Racing team travel out for their second excursion within the 24H Series after their disappointment at the Sebring round late last season when gearbox issues robbed Gray Newell, Ian James, Alex Riberas and Roman de Angelis of a near certain GT4 class podium.

This will be a busy three weeks for the team as straight after Dubai, the team will need to rush back Stateside for the Roar before the 24 next weekend and then the Rolex 24 the week after in their IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship commitmments.

Completing the four car AMR entry are the two PROsport Racing cars, one racing in GT3 Am and the other in GT4 with a sizeable driver line up of nine drivers between them. Whilst the GT4 line up of Rodrique Gillion, Nico Verdonck, Mike David Ortmann and Hugo Sasse have lots of GT4 racing experience between them (and have to be a favoured car within the class), the GT3 line up of Maxime Dumarey, Guillaume Dumarey, Jean Glorieux and Simon Balcaen have less and especially so in a current GT3 platform.

Tomorrow will feature further Practice sessions before Qualifying ahead of the start of the 24-hour race on Friday.

Photo credits – 24H Series / Teams

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