Following last weekend’s season-opener in Dubai, the 24h Series powered by Hankook continues in the desert. Next on the calendar is the Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi on Saturday 23rd January. The race does not count towards the championship in the prestigious endurance series, but is instead held as a single event. The cars, in what is a strong field, line up in the GT, TG and 991 classes. Title sponsor Hankook supplies all cars with the high-end Ventus Race tyre.
The 5.554-kilometre Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is an anti-clockwise racetrack, consisting of high-speed passages and some tight, winding sections. The Formula 1 track has 20 corners and the drivers hit top speed on the 1.14-kilometre straight. Thomas Baltes, Hankook race engineer: “It is a challenging circuit, at which the car has to be set up for maximum acceleration out of the corners, some of which are very tight. As in Dubai, the sand on the track is a key factor in Abu Dhabi. The fact that the cars skid more puts the running surface of the Hankook race tyre under more strain. However, this will not affect the high performance of the Ventus Race.”
Audi, BMW, Cupra, Ginetta, Honda, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche race cars will contest qualifying at 08:30 local time (05:30 CET) on Saturday. The Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi gets underway at 12:00 (09:00 CET). Thomas Baltes: “As the race ends at 18:00, the cold temperatures in the night are not an issue as far as tyre management is concerned. Nor should the drivers have any problem as dusk descends, as the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is fully floodlit.”