Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 Dubai 24 Hour Preview: Part II (Everybody Else)

Last week, we took a look at all A6 class entries for the 2018 Dubai 24 Hour. Today, we are going to highlight some of the other entries from the other eight classes. Four of these eight classes, the first four to be specific, belong to the 24H GT Series while the other four classes, the bottom, are apart of the Touring Car Endurance Series. Each class description will be included below and here are another 23 cars to keep an eye on.

SPX: Special cars which are not accepted in any other class (e.g. GT-, Silhouette), Weight/HP-ratio: approx. 2.5-2.9 Kg/HP

#10 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo
Drivers: Oliver Webb, Lim Keong Wee, Melvin Moh, Aleksander Schjerpen, Tadas Volbikas
Why you should watch this car: Webb has won the Dubai 24 Hour overall previously. Schjerpen won in the SP3 class in 2016.

#60 LAMERA-CUP Lamera Cup
Drivers: Wilfried Merafina, Pierre Couasnon, Christophe Bouchet, Philippe Marie
Why you should watch this car: I had no knowledge of what a Lamera Cup car was prior to looking at the entry list. Apparently, if my translation is accurate, this is an entry-level series for aspiring endurance racing drivers. I am still not sure what the car is or what it is capable of but this is one of three in the race and the other two are in the SP3 class. This car has the most notable name and that is Christophe Bouchet, who can be interesting at times.

#87 GDL Racing Middle East Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo 
Drivers: Frank Pelle, Vic Rice, Massimo Vignali, Rory Penttinen
Why you should watch this car: This team won in this class last year with all the drivers above but Vignali.

#88 Speed Lover Porsche 991 Cup MR I
Drivers: Pierre-Yves Paque, Jean-Michael Gerome, Christian Kelders, Daniel Disburser
Why you should watch this car: The SPX class was only contested in three 24H Series rounds in 2017 and two of those were non-championship races. Speed Lover won both the non-championship races that were apart of the 2x5H Spa-Francorchamps. Paque is the only carry over driver from Spa-Francorchamps.

Class 991: Porsche 991 Cup Cars (Type 991-I and 991-II) (* - AM entry)

#62 FACH AUTO TECH Porsche 991-II Cup
Drivers: Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer, Thomas Preining, Jens Richter
Why you should watch this car: Campbell is a name to keep an eye on. At 22 years old, he has won Australian Porsche Carrera Cup championship, he finished second overall at the Bathurst 12 Hour last year and he finished third in the 2017 Porsche Supercup championship but ended the season with three consecutive victories.

#63 race:pro motorsport 991-II Cup
Drivers: Stanislav Minsky, Murad Sultanov, Klaus Bachler, David Jahn, Nicholas Foster
Why you should watch this car: Bachler has been done a good job in a number of Porsches across FIA World Endurance Championship and Porsche Supercup.

#82 RScar Motorsport Porsche 991-I Cup
Drivers: Artem Soloviev, Vadim Meshcheriakov, Denis Gromov
Why you should watch this car: There are only three 991-PRO entries so if neither of the first two cars win than here is your winner.

#26 MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup
Drivers: Stephen Grove, Bertram Hornung, Matthias Jeserich
Why you should watch this car: Speaking of Australian Porsche Carrera Cup, Grove won the 2017 Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Challenge class championship. He also won the B class at the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour.

#67 race:pro motorsport Porsche 991-II Cup
Drivers: James Thorpe, Sean McInerney, Phil Quaife, Claudio Cappelli
Why you should watch this car: Quaife has run for Duel Racing in recent years and even won the TCR class championship in 2016 but he has now moved on.

#95 Duel Racing Porsche 991-I Cup
Drivers: Ramzi Moutran, Nabil Moutran, Sami Moutran, Jules Westwood
Why you should watch this car: This team with the three Moutrans won three of six TCR races on the way to the class championship in 2016. It made only one start in 2017 and that was at Dubai in the 991 class.

SP2: Special cars which are not accepted in any other class (e.g. GT-, Silhouette), Weight/HP-ratio: approx. 3.0-3.4 Kg/HP

#58 VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8
Drivers: Raphaël van der Straten, Karim Al Azhari, Grégory Paisse, Wolfgang Haugg, José Close
Why you should watch this car: Normally we see the MARC cars at the Bathurst 12 Hour but those cars are seeing the world. It had cars at the California 8 Hours and 24H COTA. It will be interesting to see how it does in Dubai.

#246 KTM MMotorsport Australia KTM X-BOW
Drivers: Justin McMillan, Glen Wood, Nico Pronk, Peter Kox
Why you should watch this car: You should always keep an eye on a KTM and the team has drafted in Kox, a driver with lots of sports car experience.

GT4: GT4 Homologated cars

#40 Brookspeed International Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Drivers: James McGuire, Ian James, Matt Bell, John Schauerman
Why you should watch this car: The team ended 2017 with a victory at Circuit of the Americas. This is a completely different driver line-up but James had a tremendous 2017 season in Pirelli World Challenge's GTS class and Matt Bell isn't a shabby driver either.

#84 Team RACE SCOUT by Winward / HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT R SP-X
Drivers: Russell Ward, Bryce Ward, Christian Gebhardt, Bernd Schneider, Norberto Fontana
Why you should watch this car: This car had a good showing at Austin and while Russell Ward is the only hold over, it will have Schneider getting into the car I guess when he isn't better with the A6 entry for HTP Motorsport and a former Formula One driver in Fontana. It isn't the sexiest name but anytime there is a Formula One experienced driver in the field you are interested.

#241 ALFAB Racing McLaren 570S GT4
Drivers: Erik Behrens, Daniel Ros, Fredrik Ros, Anders Levin
Why you should watch this car: I know nothing about any of these drivers but I do know it is the only McLaren at Dubai and it is resembles the Swedish flag. You can't miss it.

#248 Phoenix Racing: Audi R8 LMS GT 
Drivers: Adderly Fong, Marchy Lee, Shaun Thong, Darryl O'Young, Charles Kwan
Why you should watch this car: Phoenix Racing is a top Audi team and this all-Hong Kongese line-up has two respectable drivers in Fong and O'Young. Lee won the Audi R8 LMS Cup title in 2012. Thong won the GT Asia Pro-Am title in 2016. It wouldn't be surprising if this car won the class.

TCR: TCR-certified Cars (Touring cars, Supercharged)

#130 Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ
Drivers: Luca Engstler, Florian Thoma, Benjamin Leuchter, Jean-Karl Vernay
Why you should watch this car: Vernay won the 2017 TCR International Series championship and Engstler finished 12th in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at 17 years old, two positions behind Thoma while Leucter won the TCR class championship in the VLN.

#216 Modena Motorsports SEAT León TCR V3 SEQ
Drivers: Wayne Shen, John Shen, Francis Tjia, Benny Simonsen, Mathias Beche
Why you should watch this car: This team won at Circuit Paul Ricard last year and it has brought in prototype expert Beche back in for a second consecutive year.

#308 Team Altran Peugeot Peugeot 308 Racing Cup
Drivers: Guillaume Roman, Oliver Baron, Michael Carlsen, Kim Holmgaard
Why you should watch this car: This car closed out the 2017 season by winning the final two TCR races and Team Altran Peugeot won three of six races. Holmgaard and Roman each had two victories while Carlsen won once.

#908 Team Altran Peugeot Peugeot 308 Racing Cup
Drivers: Lionel Amrouche, Cyril Calmon, Henrik Sørensen, Aram Martoussian
Why you should watch this car: Like I said, Team Altran Peugeot won three of six races in 2017. Sørensen won twice in 2017 in the A2 class.

SP3: Special Cars which are not accepted in any other class (mainly Touring Cars), Weight/HP-ratio: approx. 3.5-4.0 Kg/HP

#229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55
Drivers: Nathan Freke, Jon Barnes, Mark Farmer, Dominic Paul
Why you should watch this car: Century Motorsport won this class in 2016 with Freke as one of its drivers.

CUP1: BMW M235i Racing Cup: 3000cc Twin Turbo

#154 QSR Racingschool BMW M235i Racing Cup
Driver: Jimmy de Breucker, Mario Timmers, Rodrigue Gillion, Tom Boonen, Simon Kiemund
Why you should watch this car: QSR won the CUP1 class at Dubai in 2016 and de Breucker and Timmers were two of the drivers of that entry.

A2: Petrol Touring Cars up to 2000cc & Supercharged up to 1650cc, Diesel up to 2000cc

#171 Jönsson Consulting Peugeot RCZ
Drivers: Søren Jönsson, Lars Mogensen, Niels Nyboe, Christian Hansen, Kasper Bruun
Why you should watch this car: The team won three of four A2 races in 2017.

The Dubai 24 Hours will start at 5:00 a.m. ET on Friday January 12th.