DUBAI: Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair will take part in the Asian Le Mans Series for the first time and kick-starts his competitive season with a pair of back-to-back four-hour races at the Dubai Autodrome this weekend (February 11-12th).
The Omani teams up with Germany’s Luca Stolz and Austrian Martin Konrad to drive the Al-Manar Racing by Haupt Racing Team Mercedes AMG GT3. He had to withdraw from the recent Hankook 24H Dubai because of illness and will be tackling his first race of the new season in the GT class.
Al-Zubair said: “I am very excited to race in the Asian Le Mans series for the first time. We have a great package and our drivers are very strong together. With it being Asian Le Mans and a new championship, I am looking forward to getting back on track over the next couple of weekends with four races over four hours each.”
The four-race series will be held over consecutive weekends in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and has attracted a 48-car field and 140 drivers spread across three classes.
There are a record 24 prototype entries and 24 GT3 cars, many of whom also competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Class champions will receive an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
New for the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series is the rule that each car must feature an amateur or bronze driver and that stands across the LMP2, LMP3 and GT classes.
A second HRT Mercedes has been entered in the GT class for India’s Arjun Maini, Great Britain’s Frank Bird and Frenchman Michael Blanchemain. Competition comes from 21 other team entries that include two Getspeed Mercedes’, four Porsche 911s, five Aston Martins, four Ferrari 488 GT3s, a trio of McLaren 720S GT3s and a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
The 5.39km, 16-turn Dubai Autodrome first hosted the Asian Le Mans Series in 2021.
Free practice is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday), before GT class qualifying takes centre stage from 09.40hrs on Saturday morning.
The first four-hour race fires into life at 19.00hrs and cars line up for race two at 19.00hrs on Sunday.