MUSCAT: The Al Manar Racing by Getspeed trio of Al Faisal al Zubair, Fabian Schiller and newcomer Anthony Liu hope to progress their quest for outright glory in the 2023/2024 Asian Le Mans Series at this Sunday’s 4H of Dubai.
After finishing fourth in the GT class in both races at a rain-soaked Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in December, Al Manar Racing will be hoping for more favourable weather conditions on the resumption of racing action at the Dubai Autodrome.
Last weekend, Al Zubair and Schiller were members of a five-strong team that held second overall in the Hankook 24H Dubai before technical issues forced their Getspeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to retire after 15 hours of racing. Martin Konrad was a member of that team but his place in the Al Manar Racing Mercedes has been taken by Chinese driver Liu for the third round of the Asian Le Mans Series.
The 41-year-old, from Shanghai, has competed in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia and Asian Le Mans Series races for several years and finished eighth in the Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes alongside Jules Gounon and Jayden Ojeda in the second of the Sepang races.
Al Zubair said: “This weekend is the second round of Asian Le Mans in Dubai. The following weekend we are in Abu Dhabi. Hankook was good track time to prepare for it. It’s a different tyre compound but track time is definitely beneficial. We are hoping to have a little better luck there. Last weekend I was invited by Anthony Bartone, who had me on his car. For Asian Le Mans, we are back to the Al Manar Racing white car. Hopefully we repeat what we did last year in Asian Le Mans and get some wins.”
Victory in the opening two races of the Asian Le Mans series went to Christopher Haase, Gilles Magnus and Alban Varutti in the Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II and the Pure Rxcing trio of Klaus Bachler, Joel Sturm and Alex Malykhin in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. Twenty-three cars are registered in the GT class out of a total of 42.
Varutti, Haase and Magnus currently lead the Drivers’ Championship on 44 points. Al Zubair, Schiller and Konrad are equal third on 24.
Sainteloc Racing (44 pts) leads the Teams’ Championship from Pure Rxcing (33 pts) and Al Manar Racing (24 pts).
The 2023/2024 series is a joint venture between the founding Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Asian Endurance Management (ALMEM) and SRO Motorsports Group.
After a 90-minute free practice from 10.10 hrs on Saturday (February 3), qualifying for the GT class takes centre stage from 14.30 hrs. The 4H of Dubai fires into life at 13.00 hrs on Sunday (February 4).