12Hr: Qatari Amro Al Hamad returns to Zandvoort 12hr to defend title with VORTEX V8 GC team
Doha, May 1st, 2016 – One year ago, Qatar endurance specialist Amro Al Hamad travelled to the Dutch coastal race track of Zandvoort and took victory in the SP2 class with MARC Cars, this year however the Australian team are not campaigning this round so Amro has chosen to team up with some old adversaries, Vortex V8 team from France.
“I know the team quiet well now and will be racing alongside resident French drivers Lionel Amrouche and Cyril Calmon. I have been racing against this team for a few years as they were always in the same class in previous endurance races, they are very competitive and the car has had a lot of development work done, so it’s very reliable,” continued Amro.
The car type is well known to Amro, with a similar special production silhouette and tubular chassis based on a BMW 1 series M Coupe. The original turbo engine has been replaced with a Chevrolet V8 giving around 550hp and weighs just over 1000kg.
Earlier this year, during the opening race of this FIA International Series, Dubai 24hr, this same Vortex V8 team, whilst in P2 position in the same class, were involved in an accident with Amro’s MARC Cars team that eventually caused his car to be retired in the last hour of the race whilst sitting in P3 podium contention, due to severe mechanical damage.
“With only 4 hours till the race end, we had heavy contact with the Vortex car and had lots of problems to rectify from that clash, including a gearbox change, electronics failure and loss of power steering, and in the last hour the car just couldn’t finish. There were remaining some 80 cars on track so it was bad luck that we got hit, it could have been any other car, but as racers we all want to do our best to preserve the car for the race so I know it was not intentional, and now we are all friends, that’s what happens in racing, we are like a big family,” said Amro.
“Id also like to thank our Qatar Motorsport Federation for being so co-operative facilitating all the documentation and licensing to enable me to race internationally and special thanks our President of the Federation Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, for making the whole process easier.”
The 12hour endurance race will start at2:00pm on Friday May 6th and finish on Saturday 7th at 2:00pm and is televised online at 24hseries.com/LIVE and commentary on RadioLeMans.com.