The promoter of the 12 Hours of the Gulf have presented the first list of entries for the event. In its twelfth edition, the appointment in the Middle East is embedded in the calendar of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
The 12 Hours of the Gulf premiere this season as final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, which means that the event in the Middle East, until now independent, has a greater interest for drivers, teams and brands. So much so that the first list of entries presents a record turnout with 34 GT3 vehicles and several reserve entries.
The provisional list of participants for the twelfth edition of the test presents a total of 34 GT3 vehicles, but the organization has confirmed that several teams have vehicles on the waiting list to play the event that takes place on the weekend of December 11. For now, the entry list offers the participation of six manufacturers -Audi, BMW, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche-.
Ferrari is the most represented brand in the 12 Hours of the Gulf. There will be ten GT3 of the Italian firm.
Attempto Racing and Saintéloc field four Audi R8 LMS GT3 units, while Century Motorsport will compete with the only BMW M4 GT3 that appears on the entry list. Figures that could change based on the movements made by WRT. The Belgian team has two entries, but it is not clear if it will still compete with Audi or use the Middle East event to launch its new relationship with BMW.
Whatever happens to Team WRT, the manufacturer with the greatest representation in the 12 Hours of the Gulf within the GT3 class will be Ferrari. The Italian brand has a great legacy in this event and Kessel Racing, the team with the most victories in the event, will compete with four units of the Ferrari 488 GTE. For its part, AF Corse will line up five Ferrariswhile Baron Motorsport puts the tenth unit into contention.
2 Seas Motorsport leads the Mercedes offense
The team 2 Seas Motorsportthe second most successful structure in the 12 Hours of the Gulf with two victories and current champion of the event, leads the Mercedes offensive at the closing of the IGTC. The structure will compete with two of the nine Mercedes-AMG GT3 who will be in the final round of the championship. Other teams with two cars from the German firm are GruppeM Racing and SPS Automotive.
The Stuttgart brand proposal is completed by the teams MP Racing, RAM Racing and Craft Bamboo, structures that will have a Mercedes-AMG GT3. It is expected that at least the last of these formations will have one of the official pilots of the star brand among its ranks.
Porsche and McLaren arguments
Porsche and McLaren present a similar bet with four GT3 vehicles. In the case of the German firm, the four Porsche 911 GT3 R will be in the hands of Herbert Motorsport, Earl Bamber Motorsport and Saalocin Racing. Herbert will be the only one who will have two units of the German GT3 in his garage.
For its part, Garage 59, Optimum Motorsport and Greystone GT are set to race all four of the McLaren 720S GT3. In the case of the firm from Woking, the British team Garage 59 will put two cars into the fray after their great season in the GT World Challenge Europe.
Photos: 12 Hours of the Gulf