A last-minute date change for this month’s 24 Hours of Dubai has led a handful of teams, including defending race champions Team WRT, to withdraw from the race, though two dozen GT3 cars are still expected to fight for victory.

In December, race organisers Creventic announced the race would be pushed back by two weeks – from January 12-14 to January 26-28 – due to shipping delays caused by conflict in the Red Sea. 

The new date means the race will now take place in the same weekend as the Daytona 24.

Creventic operational manager Peter Freij said in December the organisers remained committed to making the Dubai race a success. He called for the support of teams, saying: “Together, we can overcome these obstacles”.

Some competitors have withdrawn from the race since the new date was announced. On Friday, defending race champions Team WRT confirmed they had withdrawn their two BMW M4 GT3 entries.

“With no risk of delays to kit and cars returning from Dubai, it ensures the Belgian squad respects its original preparation plan for the rest of the 2024 season,” Team WRT said on Facebook.

Team WRT won the 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Dubai with a BMW M4 GT3 driven by Mohammed Saud Fahad Al Saud, Diego Menchaca, Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Jens Klingmann, and Dries Vanthoor. It was the first time a BMW M4 GT3 won a 24-hour race.

Hofor-Racing and MP Motorsport have also cancelled their entries into the GT3 class, according to a December 29 post on the 24H Series website.

A revised entry list issued on January 6 also no longer includes an entry for CSA Racing, which had planned to enter an Audi R8 in the GT3 class.

Some teams are still competing in the race, but will do so with fewer cars than initially planned.

Herberth Motorsport and Car Collection Motorsport will only race one GT3 car each, instead of three each. Dragon Racing will only enter a single GT3, instead of two.

The January 6 entry list included 24 GT3 entries with cars from Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, and BMW.

GT3 teams on the revised entry list include Leipert Motorsport, Sainteloc Junior Team, PROsport Racing, RPM Racing, Eastalent Racing, Holmgaard Motorsport, HRT-Performance, and Attempto Racing.

Other entries for the race include four GTX cars, 23 Porsche Cup 992 cars, three GT4 cars, two TCR cars and three TCX cars.

The 24 Hours of Dubai is scheduled to start at 1pm on January 27.

The race is part of Creventic’s 24H series.

Header photo credit: BMW Group


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