14 gennaio 2016
Dubai, 14 January 2016 - The 24H Series is the first Ferrari Customer team championship out of the blocks in 2016. The season opens as always with the 24 Hours of Dubai, where three 458 Italia GT3s are competing in two classes.
A6-Pro class. The main category this year will see a 458 Italia of Scuderia Praha, driven by Jiri Pisarek, Peter Kox and Matteo Malucelli. The three were stars of the 2015 championship season, winning the 12 Hours of Brno. They will be joined by Matteo Cressoni, who last year raced with Ferrari in the World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.
A6-Am class. Two 458 Italia GT3s will compete in the A6-Am category in the colours of Dragon Racing. Car no. 88 will be in the hands of long-term team driver Rob Barff, along with Jordan Grogor and Frederic Fatien, all previous winners of this race. Barff and Grogor triumphed in 2015 while Fatien won for Dragon Racing in 2014. Two Swiss drivers, Tiziano Carugati and Gino Forgione, will join the trio. Carugati is back in a Ferrari 11 years after his appearance in the 2005 FIA GT at Oschersleben in a 360 Modena GT, while Forgione is a big Ferrari fan who has competed in the Challenge before and has raced a Ferrari in the Blancpain championship and the Gulf 12 Hours. Car no. 888 will be crewed by 2015 winner Matt Griffin, 2014 victor Khaled Al-Mudhaf, along with Britain's Alex Kapadia and John Hartshorne, who drove for Dragon Racing at the recent Gulf 12 Hours.
Programme and previous races. The first free practices began on Wednesday while qualifying takes place on Thursday. The race will start at 2 pm on Friday and will conclude 24 hours later. Ferrari has chalked up 11 GT wins on the 5399-metre Dubai track. The first was in the 2004 FIA GT with the 550 Maranello of BMS Scuderia Italia, entrusted to Matteo Bobbi and Gabriele Gardel. The following year a similar car, entered by the Larbre Competition team, prevailed with Pedro Lamy and Gardel. Then there was a double triumph in 2006, when the 550 Maranello of Larbre Competition won in the G2 class with Gardel again, plus Steve Zacchia and Frederic Makowiecki and the F430 GTC of Scuderia Ecosse won its class with Chris Niarchos and Tim Mullen. The first success in the 24 hours came in 2008, with a victory in the SP2 class for the F430 GTC of Khaleji Motorsport, crewed by John Sinders, Rob Wilson, and Karim Ojjeh and designer Adrian Newey. This was followed by five wins in the GT championship races in the UAE for Dragon Racing with Rob Barff and Leon Price in a 458 Italia GT3. The last two wins, with Al-Mudhaf-Fatien-Grogor and Mohammed Jawa in 2014 and Jawa-Grogor-Griffin-Barff in 2015, again came courtesy of a 458 Italia of Dragon Racing in the A6-Am class.