ERJ staff report (TP)
Dubai, UAE − Just one month after winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain, Dunlop is heading back to the Middle East for one of the biggest races of 2014, the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, reported Paddock Talk.
The ninth running of the race at Dubai Autodrome promises to be more competitive than ever with a prestigious entry list of cars and drivers for the race at the Dubai Autodrome. The event is open to touring cars, GT cars and 24 Hour special cars with the race starting on 10 January.
Dunlop is providing a tire service for the entire grid and 7000 tires have been shipped to the Dubai Autodrome circuit. A total of 38 Dunlop engineers and support staff will travel to the event to provide assistance to the teams with fitting and engineering advice. The Dunlop engineers are able to converse in ten languages in order to “get the best” for the multi-lingual teams from around the world.
Gary Wassell, Dunlop manager Car Motorsport EU, said: “This is our biggest event in terms of numbers of cars and a great way to start the new year. Winning in open competition ‘tire war’ events such as Dunlop did this year  in Nürburgring 24h and FIA World Endurance helps us develop tires for one brand events such as Dubai where we also try to give a balance of performance across the whole grid. History suggests we’ve got it right as no one make of car has dominated.
“Technically it’s quite difficult to provide tires that give no advantage to a particular brand but we think we have shown that we’ve done a good job by the close finishes. In the last two years the top four have been no more than six laps apart but we’ve not skimped on performance either with last year’s fastest lap getting just under the two-minute mark. The quality of entries and racing is getting better each year with some great names on the entry list so we anticipate some great racing again in January.”
The 2014 Dunlop 24 Hours in numbers:
Dunlop have 7000 tires in Dubai for the race with 38 support staff in attendance
80 cars expected on the grid
About 600 laps expected to be completed by the winner
Track length 5,390km – Grand Prix configuration
Over 3000 km expected to be covered by the winning team
10 degrees to 30 degrees expected night-time track temperatures
Fastest race lap expected to be around the 1 minute 59 seconds zone
Teams from 18 different nations
Drivers from 35 different countries
28 different car makes and models
9 different classes
Information about the race weekend at Dubai Autodrome:
On track action starts on 8 January with optional Private Testing which should see most of the ‘big guns’ out to dust off the festive season cobwebs.
The first of three Free Practice sessions will get underway at 11:30am (local time) on 9 January. This is followed by three qualifying sessions, the first of which gets going at 3pm on the same day.
On 10 January, track action starts at 10:30am with a half hour warm-up, with the race set to be flagged off at 2pm. The chequered flag will wave, to bring proceedings to an end 24 hours later, on 11 January at 2pm. This will be followed by podium ceremonies for all classes.
Entry for spectators is free throughout the weekend, including qualifying and race days, with access to grandstands and the Paddock Village where a myriad of activities will be on hand to keep fans thoroughly entertained.
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