What to Expect for This Year’s Hankook 24H Dubai

February 19, 2024 2:30 AM

By: MPH Team

The countdown is on for one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the global motorsports calendar: the 19th annual Hankook Dubai 24 Hour Series. Set for January 26-28, 2024, the prestigious race hosted at the Dubai Autodrome has captivated racing aficionados since its inception in 2006. Renowned for its challenging environment and dramatic shifts in temperature, the 24H Dubai Series has become a spectacle in the world of endurance racing.


Every year, local competitors from the UAE, surrounding nations in the Persian Gulf, and a host of international teams converge in Dubai to showcase their talent. Open to both professional and semi-professional teams, this event presents a unique opportunity for newcomers to challenge some of the most illustrious names in motorsport.


Unlike the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, which operates on an invitation-only basis, the Dubai 24 Hours offers a more inclusive approach, welcoming teams that register before the event. This open-door policy has fostered a diverse and vibrant racing community, adding a unique flavor to the competition. Though it may not rival the historic legacy of Le Mans – the world’s oldest active endurance race, dating back to 1923 – the 24H Dubai has swiftly taken precedence, now boasting the second-largest grid in 24-hour endurance racing.


This year’s event will showcase an impressive lineup from the world’s leading manufacturers, including Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren, Bentley and more. Aside from the opportunity of etching their names in history, an added bonus to the winning team is a guaranteed spot in this year's Le Mans.



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Who Made it to the 2024 Roster?


The Dubai 24 Hours Race showcases a stunning array of vehicles, from the BMW M3 CSL, the first official race winner in 2006, to recent winners like the BMW M4 GT3 and Audi R8. The 2024 race will include 57 cars, with notable entries like the Ferrari 296 GT3 from Racing One and the Bentley Continental GT3 from Team Parker Racing. MRS GT-Racing is making a return with a Porsche 992 GT3 R, and 7TSIX will represent McLaren with a 720S GT3.



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Two former Hankook 24H Dubai outright winners headline the 23-car GT3 class. Herberth Motorsport, the 2017 event winner, and Car Collection Motorsport, the 2019 champion, are both aiming for a second victory. The GT3 class also includes potential frontrunners Haas RT and Saintéloc Junior Team, both having clinched their first outright wins in 2023.



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What Makes the Dubai 24 Hours Race Special?


The Dubai 24 Hours race stands out for several reasons. Its unique position as a melting pot, reflecting Dubai's diverse expatriate community, allows various participants from different backgrounds to compete. A notable aspect of this race is its refueling structure, quite distinct from other events. Cars are only refueled in a dedicated area at the end of the pitlane, adding an extra layer of strategy to the race.



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However, racing in Dubai offers unique challenges compared to other famous endurance races like the 24H Le Mans. The Dubai Autodrome's desert setting presents drivers with varying track temperatures and potential sand on the track, affecting grip and visibility. These factors, combined with the race's duration and diverse participant field, make the 24H Dubai Series a true test of skill, endurance, and adaptability.



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Expectations for the 2024 Race


This year's race, closing the 2023/2024 24H Series Middle East Trophy, promises a thrilling grid of over 50 cars, featuring a mix of former winners, reigning champions, and newcomers. Team WRT of Belgium, the winner for the past two years, will unfortunately not participate this year due to scheduling conflicts, leaving the track open for new champions to emerge. Over the years, manufacturers like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi have claimed victories, with Porsche leading with six wins.


The upcoming race also features former Formula 1 drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Vitaliy Petrov making their 24H Series debuts. Alongside them, 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff will return to GT3 racing. Nico Prost, son of the legendary Alain Prost, will drive a developmental Ginetta G56 Cup with Toro Verde in GTX, adding further excitement to the race. Notable participants include three-time title winners Jeroen Bleekemolen of Holland, Khaled Al Qubaisi of UAE, and Hubert Haupt of Germany.




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