Abu Dhabi - As is now traditional, the GT racing season closes with the Gulf 12 Hours, in which six Ferrari customer team crews will take part. One of them is quite special, being entirely female.
Fast girls. Kessel Racing no. 83 will be crewed by Manuela Gostner, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting. The 34-year-old Italian Manuela Gostner is the most experienced Ferrarista of the trio. Indeed, she started racing in the Ferrari Challenge Europe in 2014 and within just a few years has climbed the standings, winning two races this season, at Barcelona and Monza. The 32-year-old Swiss, Rahel Frey, is a regular GT driver, having competed in both the Blancpain GT championship and the ultra-competitive ADAC GT Masters in Germany. She has also been involved in DTM races. The 24-year-old Dane, Michelle Gatting, is the youngest of the group who after kart racing moved up to proper motor racing, driving in a one-make series in Germany. The three, who enjoy the support and patronage of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, will be competing in the GT3 Pro-Am class where they will face some very strong crews including their teammates in the 488 GT3 no. 77: Claudio Schiavoni, Andrea Piccini and Sergio Pianezzola.
Pro Class. A Kessel Racing Ferrari will also be competing in the GT3 Pro class, crewed by 2017 winners Michael Broniszewski and David Rigon and by Alessandro Pier Guidi. Both Rigon and Pier Guidi are official Ferrari drivers with Alessandro, who is also reigning FIA World Endurance Championship champion and this season has already helped Mikkel Mac and Luzich Racing to victory in the International GT Open championship.
Am class. Three more Ferraris, two 488 GT3s and a 458 Italia GT3, will be taking part in the Am class. Niki Cadei and Fons Scheltema will be racing in the fourth car of Kessel Racing along with Murat Cuhadaroglu and Rick Lovat, in their debut in the GT competitions after many years in the Ferrari Challenge. Christoph Ulrich, Kriton Lendoudis, Rui Aguas and Tani Hanna, local idol and recent winner of the Coppa Shell in the Ferrari Challenge APAC, will be on track in the Ferrari of Spirit of Race. The 458 Italia GT3 of Stile F Squadra Corsa will be driven by Martin Grab, Jonathan Hui and "Dirk Diggler".
Programme. Qualifying is set for Friday afternoon, while race starts on Saturday at 9 am. It is due to finish at 11.45 pm local time (9.45 pm CET) with the award ceremony shortly after midnight.