Le Mans-style endurance racing returns to Yas Marina Circuit with Gulf 12-Hours

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The Gulf 12-Hour race returns to the Yas Marina Circuit next week.

The glamour and excitement of around-the-clock racing returns to Yas Marina Circuit later this month with the Gulf 12-Hours.

The region’s most gruelling race will see multiple teams from across the globe pit themselves and their cars against each other in two rounds of racing, each lasting six hours, on December 16.

The Circuit will host qualifying rounds for the seventh edition of the Gulf 12-Hours on Friday, December 15, with the big race taking place the following day from 9:00.

Held in true endurance style, the Gulf 12-Hours features both daylight and floodlit races, with some of the most luxurious GT3 cars, including the AMG Mercedes, Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 458 and Aston Martin Vantage, tackling the twists and turns of Yas Marina Circuit.

The Lamborghini Huracan at last year's Gulf 12-Hours.

The Lamborghini Huracan at last year’s Gulf 12-Hours.

In a new addition to this year’s Gulf 12-Hours, a host of classic Formula 1 cars will also take to the track in the Gulf Historic series.

The Gulf 12-Hours is not the only motorsport action taking place over the weekend of December 15th and 16th.

The two days will play host to round three of the thrilling Yas Racing Series, featuring the TRD 86 Cup together with the Formula 4 UAE Championship and MRF Challenge.

These races, which feature some of the best young drivers, offer spectators the chance to see the budding F1 stars of the future compete against each other.

While the drama unfolds on the track, race fans will be able to indulge in a three-hour brunch at the Paddock Suite Belgian Café, which the brunch starts when guests arrive for a three-hour feast between noon and 20:00. With prices starting from Dh195 for food and soft drinks and Dh295 for food and hops, this is great way to celebrate the party season with friends and family and experience race day at Yas Marina Circuit.

Guests will also be able to enjoy unrestricted views of the cars as well as a great menu of festive Belgian favourites.

Graff Racing's car from the 2016 Gulf 12-Hours.

Graff Racing’s car from the 2016 Gulf 12-Hours.

The first of the two six-hour races that make up this year’s Gulf 12-Hours will be held on Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00 with race two following from 17:45 until 23.45. The winners will take to the podium at 11.55pm.

Tickets are available online at www.yasmarinacircuit.com or through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre (800 927) or +971 (0) 2 659 9800.

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UAE driver Al Mansouri in Red Bull Car Drift finals after clinching Dubai qualifiers

Jay Asser 18/11/2017
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Local boy Mohammad Al Mansour holds the winning trophy.

Mohammad Al Mansouri’s Nissan Silvia S13 put on a memorable show to claim the crown at the Red Bull Car Park Drift UAE qualifier and earn a spot in the final in Kuwait.

The 27-year-old from X-Unit Racing Team improved his total in each of the three heats to earn the top spot on the podium, while team-mate and UAE drifter Mahmoud Al Kamali took second and Jordan’s Jawad Tuffaha finished third.

In total, 44 drivers put their drifting skills on display at Dubai City Walk’s Green Planet on Friday, with the challengers taking on a course that included boxes, gates, the pendulum and a new obstacle, ‘The Buzzer Gate’.

“There were many drifters there, driving carefully and had a lot of power in their cars,” Al Mansouri said.

“There were a lot of drifters who were capable, it was a very good challenge.”

Red Bull champion and legendary drifter Abdo Feghali was also on hand to dazzle the crowd as the event returned to Dubai after taking place in Ajman last year.

The drifters were judged based on their performance on the obstacles, while style points were awarded for the look and design of the car, tire smoke and car sound.

The judging panel included motoring expert Abdulla Jaafari, local auto designer Anthony Jannarelly, Sport360° editor Hasan Draz and Issa Al Sahmsi, who represented the Emirates Motor Sports
Federation.

After feeling out the course in the first heat and netting a modest 277 points, Al Mansouri applied his newfound familiarity with the course by completing nearly flawless runs in the second and third heat, earning 355 and 364 points respectively.

The top three finishers celebrate on the podium.

The top three finishers celebrate on the podium.

“In the first heat, the track was very small. In heat two, we learned how to do it,” Al Mansouri said.

“After doing it, you listen carefully and know how to do it. That’s why in heat two we were very careful.”

Team-mate Al Kamali similarly peaked towards the end, manoeuvring the course and avoiding the barriers by just inches to come a hair short of first place.

With the UAE holding the last qualifier before the final in Kuwait on December 8, the list of top drifters is assembled to battle it out for the title of ‘King of Drift’.

Al Mansouri knows the competition for the ultimate prize will be stiff, but is looking forward to representing his home country and showing out in three weeks’ time.

“We will repair the engine in the car next week. We will check all of the car,” he said. “There will be many champions there and I’ll try to challenge them.”

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Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx gear up for Bahrain's Six Hours race

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Following their success in Shanghai earlier this month, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s ace driver Harry Tincknell hopes ‘history can repeat itself’ with victory in Saturday’s Bahrain 6 Hours.

Tincknell and his team-mate Andy Priaulx, sealed their second GTE-Pro class triumph of the FIA World Endurance Championship in the six hours race in China. And the pair will be back behind the wheel for the season-finale with still everything to play for.

Chip Ganassi Racing are third in the LMGTE Pro Teams standings with 131 points, behind Germany’s Team Manthey (133) and leader Italy’s AF Corse (146).

Tincknell, 26, is fully aware of the task ahead but says the Shanghai win gives them a lot of confidence going into the race in the kingdom.

“We know we want to win the championship of course and we’re 15 points back so realistically we probably need to win the race,” he said.

“But we’re just going to go out there like every other race and do the best job we can. We had some races today where we absolutely nailed it and finished fourth and that’s the maximum we could do in races that we could’ve won.

“We just have to do the maximum we can and walk away from the track on Saturday night knowing that we gave everything that we could. It’s going to be very difficult because it’s going to be very hot in Bahrain.

“It’s going to be a full team effort and will need the support of the mechanics and the strategy will have to be spot on. As we proved in Shanghai, we can do it and let’s hope history repeats itself in Bahrain.”

For Priaulx, he will look back at the season with a lot of positives.

“There’s been 12 months of racing and intense pressure and to still be in it, is something we should all be proud as team,” he said.

“We won two championship rounds this year but the most impressive thing is winning rounds when under pressure like last weekend in Shanghai and we delivered as a team.”

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