The inaugural Gulf 12 Hours endurance race takes place this winter at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, arguably the most glamorous race track in the world. The event will end at night under the sparkling lights and magical atmosphere that made the final Grand Prix of the 2009 and 2010 Formula 1 seasons so unique.
The invitation-only event aims to support the continued, sustainable growth of motorsport in the United Arab Emirates whilst attracting a wider variety of teams and drivers to the region. The event which is to be run this coming winter has been carefully scheduled to avoid impacting the Dubai 24 Hours, which will run in January 2012.
Unlike the neighbouring 24H Dubai event, the Gulf 12H is focused more on sports cars with the race being open to a maximum of 48 cars from GT2 to GT4, one make series like the Porsche Cup and Ferrari Challenge, CN2 sports cars and a limited number of touring cars.
Surprisingly the Gulf 12H will be the first endurance race held at Yas Island, which has rapidly become a haven for racing teams and driving events taking advantage of its excellent facilities.
The Gulf 12H is promoted by Driving Force Events, a company led by Andrea Ficarelli, former head of communications at the Benetton and Toyota Formula 1 teams.
Ficarelli said: “Over several months we conducted thorough market research with teams, drivers and other promoters; we found a 12 hour race in the region was an attraction to European and Asian teams otherwise unwilling to take part in something longer.
“This confirmed a space to introduce a new, successful endurance event, targeting a group of competitors who wouldn’t have considered racing in the Middle East previously.”
We’ll bring you further news as we receive it, but it certainly sounds like Andrea is on to something big.
If you’re interested in taking part then visit the event’s website and register your interest www.gulf12hours.com