Team Need for Speed by Shubert Motorsport happy with qualifying for 24H of Dubai

Posted on January 1, 2011

Thursday at the 24 Hours of Dubai was a busy affair. Three practice sessions and three qualifying sessions made for a busy track.

The first of two ‘daylight’ practice sessions kicked off the morning with Edward Sandström and Claudia Hürtgen sharing the #76 car in the first session.

Augusto Farfus and Tommy Milner shared the driving duties during the second session which went very well. The team experimenting with set up changes to improve tyre wear. In the end, the #76 car finished 2nd place was just 0.058 ahead of the Land Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.The second Team Need for Speed entry finished the session in 7th position.

Qualifying took place in the afternoon. Regular driver Edward finished in Sixth position on the grid for tomorrows race, ahead of an all Lamborghini front row. Sandstrom and the team ensured the car was set up for the endurance event and was happy with progress.

The balance of the car improved consistently over the course of the training sessions. We are getting more and more out of the Dunlop tyres and can constantly improve our lap times. Sixth place on the grid is of no great importance, however. With 80 cars on the circuit, you are almost always in traffic.

The second Team Need for Speed car finished in 10th place. NASCAR and ALMS racer, Boris Said, told us “We wanted to set a respectable lap time in qualifying, so as not to have to start the race with too much additional weight. That worked well, as we have a car with responsive handling and a good balance in the BMW Z4 GT3″

With qualifying out the way, it was time for one more practice session. This time in the dark. As the circuit is a 20 minute drive from Dubai City, it gets dark very quickly.

For me, this was the moment of truth. Would the reflective wireframe mesh livery work?  Thankfully, it looked great on track when a flash went off from the media photographers or fans in the stand.

Unfortunately, the sister car, #77 had an accident about half way through the session damaging the rear end of the car. The mechanics will be up late tonight, but the car will be on the grid tomorrow.

A selection of today’s photos are now on our Official Need for Speed Facebook PageClick here to check them out.

The 24H Dubai starts at 2pm local time (GMT+4hrs) Friday. You can follow the race online HERE. You can also follow us on our Twitter and Facebook social channels.

-Andy Blackmore


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