Gulf12hr: Qatari Amro Al Hamad celebrates Gulf 12hr debut at Yas Marina Circuit
Abu Dhabi, Dec 12th 2015-Qatari racing driver Amro Al Hamad celebrated his maiden appearance in the Gulf 12hr race at Yas Marina circuit with a podium finish, representing the country of Qatar for the first time in this prestigious endurance race event.
After achieving Qatar’s Free-diving National record in Greece a few months ago, Amro swapped his wet suit and fins for his race suit to get behind the wheel for a new 12hour challenge.
The format of the Gulf 12 Hours sees the event broken down into two, six hour races, one in the daytime and one in the evening which concludes under the floodlights, with a break of almost three hours between the two races.
Amro joined up with the CRM Team from Portugal in their GB08 WOLF prototype car to run in the CN class, giving him some familiarity to the Radical SR3 he raced in past seasons.
Joining new teammates Philppe Prette and Angelo Negro, who usually race in the Ferrari Asia Cup and Sam Taheri, the team qualified the car in 12th place ahead of all the Porsche GT3 Cup teams.
All was not to be completely fault free running for the team who suffered two technical issues early on in the first part of the six hour race with a throttle sensor problem forcing the car into the pit box for repairs, losing 15 laps on the lead cars. Amro also had just entered the car for his first stint, when the starter motor broke and he was forced to wait for the repairs. The team then raced a faultless 5 hours to continue into 16th place by the end of race one.
“The first outing in the race was really great, I really enjoyed the car although it is very low to the ground and isn’t always visible to other GT cars, so I was a little cautious with other cars around me, its the low nature of these prototype cars and after a while you get used to it. The team were very pleased with my lap times as was being very consistent to try and help the team gain time in certain sectors, but it was tough because of the previous technical issues,” commented Amro.
Race two was a battle to regain lost time for the team, Amro had three stints in the car totaling three hours behind the wheel and took the final flag for the team after 271 laps complete. The race ended under red flags, dramatically 10 minutes early due to a violent crash involving two cars being heavily damaged.
“It was not a normal finish so everyone was a bit surprised to see red flags near the end of the race, the two Ferrari’s collided in front of me hitting an oil spill on turn 3 and I was lucky to avoid the mayhem, thankfully we managed to bring our car to the finish line in one piece in 16th place overall and first in the CN class.”
“I was really impressed with the GB08 WOLF car and I really enjoyed the high downforce from the aero compaired to what im used to in the Radical. We struggled a little bit on power on the straights against the GT3 cars but we had maximum cornering speed. We didnt run our car on full power as we had some small technical issues previous so we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves a fighting chance of at least finishing the race, the team did a fantastic job and I enjoyed racing with my new team mates”, commented Amro.
“This is the last race for me in 2015 and it has been a good season for racing, where I have celebrated and lifted the Qatar flag on the podium with some great teams so i am very proud. Now I am focusing on attracting new sponsors to replace Shell who will not continue in 2016 due to budget restrictions, but i want to thank them for the support they have given me over the years, and I look forward to continuing this motorsport journey for Qatar”, concluded Amro.