Racing in the Desert
While most of us settled down as the winter closed in, the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival returned to the Dubai Autodrome for the second year on 25-27 November, showcasing F1 cars of the ‘70s through to the ‘90s and GT, sports and prototypes of the ‘80s and 2000s, with numerous motorsport legends racing and/or giving demos on track. Amongst these were Alain Prost, Mark Webber, Stefan Johansson, Timo Bernhard, Thierry Boutsen, Stanley Dickens and Marco Werner, enjoying the 35-degree sunshine.
After last year’s one-day, two-category race schedule, this year saw a three-day timetable with two 40-minute races for GT and Prototypes of the 2000s added to the programme, along with demonstration runs for F1 cars of the ‘90s. Amongst the guest and celebrity drivers on the 11-car grid for F1 cars of the ‘70s and early ‘80s were regular historic racers Mike Cantillon, Jamie Constable, Christophe D’Ansembourg and Michael Lyons. Cantillon took his Tyrrell 010-2 to win on Saturday ahead of Oliver Webb, driving a Hesketh 308B and D’Ansembourg’s Williams FW07C. Webb turned the tables on Sunday, winning ahead of Constable, who had snatched second from Cantillon. In the races for ‘80s sports cars, Marco Werner topped the podium both times driving an early Gebhardt C88 in front of strong competition that included Max Girardo in a powerful IMSA Nissan NPT 90 GTP.
In the nine-car class for GT and prototypes of the 2000s, three-time Le Mans winner André Lotterer took victory in a Porsche RS Spyder on Saturday after battling with Emmanuel Collard in a Pescarolo LMP1 01, who came second on the road but was then penalised for speeding in the pit lane. This gave second to Matthieu Vaxiviere’s Ferrari 333 SP prototype. Collard made no mistakes in the second heat, besting Lotterer by the slimmest of margins.
Away from the racetrack, organisers were determined to fill the paddock with entertainment for the spectators, and there were DJs and live musicians performing, augmented and enhanced car displays of Super cars as well as classics, including Lamborghini Diablo and Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, 250 Lusso and SP2 Monza. Jaguar Classic exhibited its C-type and D-type continuation models. The Apex Garden offered an exciting view of the track, family entertainment and an open-air cinema with big screens showing all the live action and highlights of the weekend.
For more details, see our January/February 2023 issue, also available in digital format…
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