Dubai Autodrome will host more than 48 cars and ex-Formula One drivers to qualify for this year’s legendary Le Mans endurance race in the opening races of the Asian Le Mans Series on February 11 and 12.

Organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), which oversees the famous Le Mans 24 Hours race, the four-round Asian Le Mans Series will provide an opportunity for teams to earn a berth in this year’s flagship endurance Le Mans race in June.

Among the leading drivers that will be hitting the track at the Dubai Autodrome for Rounds One and Two on Saturday and Sunday include ex-Formula One driver Paul Di Resta of Great Britain. Following his stint in the top-tier motorsport competition that saw him drive for Force India and Williams, the 36-year-old has been enjoying great success after switching to endurance racing and will line up in Dubai again for United Autosports in the LMP2 class.

The grid will also include former Formula One test and reserve driver Raffaele Marciello. The Swiss-born Italian is a product of the Ferrari Driver Academy and will be aiming to build on his Spa 24 Hours victory – his maiden major triumph in endurance racing for GetSpeed Performance.

Austria’s Klaus Bachler, who had competed alongside UAE’s Khaled Al Qubaisi in three Le Mans races between 2014-17 will also feature for Herberth Motorsport while Nicky Catsburg, who finished second in the GTE Pro category at the 2021 Le Mans, will also be behind the wheel for Walkenhorst Motorsport.

The event has also attracted Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair, who will be driving for Al Manar Racing by HRT and as the only Arab driver on the track, he will be aiming to make the region proud. Al Manar Racing comes in the series on the back of a strong performance at the Hankook Dubai 24 Hours where they secured pole position before being forced to retire due to technical issues.

It is the third time that Dubai Autodrome will be hosting two four-hour races of the series which will continue in Abu Dhabi the following weekend. The event provides a platform for teams and drivers in the Asian region to test themselves against the best international drivers and compete in a high-level competition and gain crucial experience so they can progress in their career. Dubai has become a winter motorsport destination providing experienced drivers, looking to compete in the series’ European counterpart, valuable seat time.

The weekend will also feature the highly competitive Formula Regional Middle East Championship and F4 UAE Championship.

Tickets are free to witness the racing action while off the track there will be a wide array of kids’ activities, entertainment and food trucks on both days with the Grandstand and Apex Garden available for spectators.

Faisal Al Sahlawi, General Manager of Dubai Autodrome, said: “The Le Mans 24 Hours is the most famous endurance race in the world with a rich history and setting and we are proud that the road to this event once again begins at the Dubai Autodrome.

“The fact that this year’s series has attracted some leading GT drivers from around the world including ex-Formula One drivers exemplifies how highly regarded the Asian Le Mans Series is and is a testimony to the UAE and Dubai’s ability to host world-class international motorsport.

“With tickets being free, this is another fantastic opportunity for people in the UAE to watch some high-quality racing and I hope to see many people at the Dubai Autodrome in what will be an enjoyable weekend for all.”

Round One of the Dubai 4 Hours race will take place on Saturday while Round Two will be held on Sunday with both contests beginning at 3:00pm. 

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