Team Abu Dhabi returns to northern France this weekend to take part in the 54th edition of the world renowned 24 Hours of Rouen endurance race on the River Seine. The race starts at 10am on Sunday morning and runs through to a finish on Monday.
The team running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) achieved a memorable Class S2 victory last year, courtesy of Thani Al-Qemzi, Alex Carella, Majed Al-Mansoori and Tullio Abbate, in Team Abu Dhabi 35. The ADIMSC is determined to repeat a success that saw them run for 792 laps on the 3.8km course to beat Navikart Racing by an impressive 37 laps. Rashed Al-Tayer replaces Abbate in Team Abu Dhabi 35 on this occasion.
Mohammed Al-Mehairbi, Rashed Al-Qemzi, Alberto Comparato and Rashed Al-Tayer were not so fortunate last year in Team Abu Dhabi 36 . They were running as high as sixth before Comparato crashed and the quartet retired after 321 laps. This year, Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Qemzi will be joined by Faleh Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Remeithi in the 36 boat.
Last year’s outright race win fell to triple UIM F1 H20 World Champion Philippe Chiappe and his French crew of Peter and Nelson Morin and Rodolphe Avenel in the F1 CTIC China Team Moore entry.
“This will be my sixth time here in Rouen and it’s a special race for me,” said Carella, who won his class in 2015 alongside the Russian New Star 1 drivers Konstantin Ustinov and Dmitry and Roman Vandyshev. “I have won my class on three occasions now and am determined to try and give more success to Team Abu Dhabi.”
In an event that was devised by the Rouen Yacht Club in 1963, Class S2 competition for Team Abu Dhabi is likely to be strong, while last week’s Grand Prix of Portugal winner, Philippe Chiappe, is also sure to feature with new F1 H2O team-mate Peter Morin.
The opening round of the 2017 UIM World Endurance Championship gets underway with scrutineering of the boats on Lacroix island in the centre of the River Seine in Rouen on Friday, April 28. Drivers will then be permitted free practice on the course from 17.00hrs to 22.00hrs local time on Saturday evening (April 29).
The 24-hour race starts at 10.00hrs (noon UAE time) on Sunday (April 30) and the first section of 15 hours will run until 01.00hrs (3am UAE time). Competitors will then be permitted seven hours of rest before the final nine hours of racing starts at 07.00hrs (9am UAE time) on Monday, May 1 and finishes at 16.00hrs (6pm UAE time).