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Live from the Dubai 24 Hour Part V

  1. The seventh annual Dubai 24h race is
    over. OVER! And you’ve missed out on a lot of very excellent stuff.

    Luckily, we’ve deprived ourselves of
    sleep, food and medical care to drag you from the internet to the Middle East
    and into our eyes. Which actually sounds a bit weird. But you know what we
    mean. Hopefully.

    Anyway.

    Click on to see what’s happened since
    our last update.

  2. If you think race tracks are awash with
    rubber marbles during the F1, you should see the Dubai Autodrome after 24 hours
    of racing. Off the racing line, the track looks like a big, lethal abacus.

  3. The sheer breadth of mechanical ability
    across the field means racing’s always entertaining – and occasionally
    hilarious. The Pizza Company Racing Team’s Honda Integra DC-5, Le Duigou
    Racing’s 3.0-litre 1-series (with five doors, as it goes), and the #87 Suzuki
    Swift play an endlessly entertaining game of snakes and ladders.

  4. German manufacturers have absolutely
    destroyed the field this year – for several hours, nine out of the top ten cars
    were built there.

  5. Dusty sand plagued racing early this
    morning. Which is more surprising than it seems considering the city’s in a
    giant great big desert.

    The Autodrome’s thoroughfare’s right
    next to the grandstand, and as cars returned to watch the closing laps, they
    kicked up a masses of the stuff, which blew onto the track and into the pit.

    As you’d imagine, said grandstand
    flanks the home straight. As cars barrelled down it they took the dust with
    them and deposited it when they slowed down for turn one, which made it
    massively slippy. Great for the spectators, though – there was some spectacular
     dori-dori.

  6. Sunrise over a race track – it has the
    uncanny effect of making you feel very happy indeed. 

  7. As the first of the cars came pitted at
    sunrise, the temperature began its ascent from 15 degrees centigrade to 24.

    It gave us the first glimpse of how
    they’d survived the night, too – the #61 Seat Leon Supercopa faired remarkably
     well.

  8. It was a good day to be a racing SLS.
    More on that later…

  9. The morning after the night before –
    Exagon Engineering’s 997 GT3R suffered major rear-end damage…

  10. …as did Gulf’s rather delicious Aston
    Martin Vantage N24 GT24.

  11. Luckily, the team had many, many rolls
    of gaffer tape. In fact, save for the pit girls, very few things and people
    weren’t covered in gaffer tape.

  12. This man wishes to remain anonymous.
    He’s in charge of monitoring the 40mph speed limit in the pitlane. “It’s for
    health and safety reasons – you can create a lot of problems with sparks and
    debris if you don’t observe the limit”.

    Just as we began to scoffing at his
    bureaucracy, there was the unmistakable sound of naked metal on tarmac…

  13. …to our compound amazement, car 22 –
    Tsunami RT’s Porsche 997GT3 Cup car – wobbled past on three wheels,
    occasionally loosing its balance and dipping onto the brake discs. There were
    sparks, there was debris, there was a man with a very worthy job.

  14. Our mystery human GATSO liked to fill
    his time between busting pitlane hoons and deftly making points by checking the
    speed of the racers. This made us like him more.

  15. Fach Auto Tech employed a unique method
    to cooling its 997 GT3 R’s driver – first, a small lady wafted cool in by
    vigorously opening and closing the door. The a man wondered up and switched his
    leaf blower – replete with gaffer tape – onto the drivers face.

  16. You’ve probably heard a lot about
    Spain’s Lucas Ordoñez – he’s the bloke that won Nissan’s GT Academy, propelling
    him from Gran Turismo gamer to actual., real-life racing driver.

    In this year’s event, he drove car #100
    – a 370Z – along with fellow GT Academy drivers, Jordan Tresson, Bryan
    Heitkotter and Jann Mardenborough. But was a car full of gamers – a racing
    first - a bit… ambitious?

    Lucas says: “If I’m worried about other
    gamers being worse drivers [than other drivers], I would have a problem. The
    other guys are great drivers and put in a very good performance.”

  17. Lucas adds: “I’ve had a great race in
    Dubai. I always enjoy 24-hour events, even though there is a lot of pressure
    for everybody involved in a gamer car.

    “The faster cars make the race a little
    bit confusing, too – many have more power, but you don’t know how good the
    drivers are. They overtake on the straight, then you overtake them in the
    corners. It is a great challenge and I had no big moments so I am happy with my
     performance.”

  18. And it’s all over!

    RESULTS

    1st Mercedes SLS Abu Dhabi
    by Black Falcon

    2nd Mercedes SLS by Helico
     Motorsport

    3rd Mercedes SLS by Helico
     Motorsport

    The all-gamer Nissan 370Z placed 26th
    overall and 3rd in its class, the Suzuki Swift finished in 58th
    and 9th in its class and Racing Divas’ Renault Clio RS Cup scooped 4th
    place in its class and a staggering 39th overall.

  19. Racing celebrations erred on the
    interesting – throughout the 35-minute ceremony this group of tradition
    Emiratis performed a Hrbia song and dance routine.

  20. Under the helmet there’s winning driver
    and UAE native, Khaled Al Qubaisi. He drove alongside Jeroen Bleekemolen from
    Holland, Thomas Jager from Germany and England’s own Sean Edwards.

  21. Can you imagine Lewis Hamilton
    celebrating a race win by straddling a spitting, humped mammal?

  22. Where else in the world would you find
    camels, supercar racers and traditional Emirate baton twirlers other than
     Dubai?

  23. So there you have it, TG.commers. That
    was the Dubai 24 Hours. If you didn’t know anything about it before we hope you
    do now.

    It’s vastly different from the rest of
    the enduro races crop, and the winners get to ride a camel. But if certainly
    deserves more recognition than it currently gets.

    If you fancy filling some of those
    empty seats, hop on a plane and give it a go next year.   

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