Speeding for the Finish Line
Young Reporter (15 years of age at the time)
24 hours. One race. One winner. The 24 Hour Autodrome started at 14:00 o’clock in Motor City in Dubai on January 10th, 2014. The Swiss team won the race in a Porsche 997 GT3 R, the ALL-INKL.COM Munich Motorsport Team took second place in a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, and the German team Black Falcon got third place, also in a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. The event was very entertaining and interesting for the audience not only because of the race but also because you were in the middle of everything. There were many varieties of food being sold and people could look at different cars, old and new, and also look into the pit stops. It was a well organized event and it was definitely worth watching; even if you are not as interested in cars. “It’s a wonderful friendly atmosphere, and it really is a social event, it’s the beginning of a new year.” quoted by Regional Sales Manager of Dunlop Tires Goodyear, Chris Keogh.
Many people were watching the race but little did they know what was happening behind the scenes. A lot of planning goes into an event like this: “In September we need to know what tires the teams want, Then we produce the tires in October, ship them in November, arriving late December. So it’s like four to five months of preparation for us to do it” says Regional Sales Manager of Dunlop Chris Keogh. Around 7000 dry weather tires [also known as slicks], and 3000-4000 wet weather tires [commonly shortened to wets] were shipped to Dubai in November. “You have to work out how many tires each car is going to use. The majority of cars use one set of tires every two hours. We worked out last year that there are 8 tires being changed in about 90 seconds.” said Chris Keogh.
Things can go wrong, the weather may change quickly and things could go not as planned which can cause many accidents. “One of the worst things was I think probably some of the panic when we had the rain in years gone past. At that particular time it rained very hard, very quickly and you have to remember that this track is 5.3 kilometers long so to get from the other side of the circuit back to the pits here is quite a drive” says Chris Keogh.
“The competitors and the teams are getting so professional now. The quality of the car that’s coming out, the knowledge of the teams is greater, so it is in that aspect getting more competitive. But we have the same spirit today as we had in the 24 hour race nine years ago.” said Regional Sales Manager of Dunlop, Chris Keogh. Things change, Technology is advancing and becoming a huge part of our everyday life, but the love for a sport and the need for speed will always be the same when we finally reach the finish line.