24H: QMMF backs Amro Al Hamad to contest his 24hr of Zolder debut
Doha, Tuesday 16th August 2016 –Qatar endurance specialist Amro Al Hamd returns to Zolder circuit this coming weekend to contest one of the most historic long distance races, the 24hrs of Zolder.
Proudly carrying the banner of the Qatar Motor & Motor Cycle Federation, Amro is fully sponsored to contest this round. Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Mannai, QMMF President expressed his praise at his achievements in the previous SuperLights race at Zolder.
For this important double points round of the Belcar Championship Amro joins one of the leading teams Bas Koeten Racing, currently lying 3rd overall in the championship points table, and looking to strengthen their grip on the title in their WOLF GB08 car.
Amro, only last month, contested a national SuperLights round in the Belcar Championship in the same car but as a solo driver, where he achieved a highly credible 3rd overall in race 1 and 2nd place in race two in tricky wet conditions, a testament to his experience in this specialized prototype car and ability to adapt to new circuits quickly.
In this grueling 24hr long distance race, Amro will be joined by experienced co-drivers Stienes Longin, who will be under pressure as his father Bert Longin will be competing in an exact same WOLF GB08 for a different team. Thomas Piessens, is the youngest team member but with multiple endurance races under his belt in Zolder and Sven van Laere, a Zolder circuit expert for the past 10 years. At least 54 other teams join in the fight alongside them to the flag.
“I met the team during the SuperLights round when I participated with Bas Koeten in the #704 sister car, finishing with two podium trophies even though it was my first time racing at Zolder my lap times were quiet competitive. For this 24hrs race they required a 4th driver who is accustomed to the car so they invited me to join the team and as I had endurance racing experience and also finished the 12 hours of Abu Dhabi on the same car, it seemed a good challenge to compete in the 24hrs with them,” commented Amro.
Amro started making a big impression in the motorsport world after winning the Middle East Radical Championship in the 2013/2014 season, and now in International racing he has six endurance races under his belt, resulting in four podiums including, a 2nd in class at Dubai 24 hours, 1st in Class at 12hrs of Zandvoort, 1st in Class at the Abu Dhabi 12 hours as well as the 2 podiums recently in the SuperLights championship in Zolder in July.
Much praise has to be given to the teams behind such victories and the Bas Koeten team are no exception. The family run team from Holland is managed by brothers duo Jelle and Bas Koeten, who have a vast experience in endurance racing as well as touring cars and rally and notably some of the fastest pit-stops around.
Bas Koeten, Team Manager stated, “We have a big opportunity at winning this endurance race, and we have been working on building the car from the bottom up since the last race event in July. Stienes, Thomas, Sven has proved themselves throughout the season and Amro had great podium results in the SuperLights round in which he participated on our sister car, so we are confident to push for the win.
“It will be a grueling race, no doubt about that. As a team we understand it well and victory will only come to us with a good strategy and team work, I have good faith in the team, we complement each other and we are at a level of professionalism to enable us to snatch the victory,” said Amro.
“I also want to offer enormous thanks to Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al Mannai the President of Qatar Motor & Motor Cycle Federation for his trust in me. I will do my very best to be a good ambassador for our Federation and Qatar, and hope to inspire the younger generations to forge a good future in circuit racing in Qatar and the region,” continued Amro.
The first practice sessions starts on the 18th 19th with qualification on the 20th. The race starts at 16:30pm local time on Saturday 20th and finishing 24hrs later on Sunday at the same time.