Finlay Hutchison, winner of the TCR class in last year’s Hankook Dubai 24 Hours, is to return to the big race next week with leading Dutch squad V8 Racing for a crack at the ultra-competitive GT3 class in a Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1.
Dundee 17-year-old Hutchison, who will head to Dubai Autodrome a few days from now with victory at the Zandvoort 500 in November still fresh in his mind, is to partner Dutch quartet Luc Braams, Duncan Huisman, Alex van t’Hoff and Rick Abresch in the A6-AM class of the twice-round-the-clock endurance battle which will begin on Friday, 12th January.
Following a terrific debut season in GT racing, where he was fifth overall in the Silver Cup in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup and a front-runner in the sister Southern Cup, the Scotsman excelled at Zandvoort roughly six weeks ago on his first ever outing in a powerful Renaultsport R.S.01 racer.
With an eye on full-time graduation into GT3 in the future, the Dubai 24 Hours provides Hutchison with the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities in the blue riband class of GT action. Plans for the teenager’s full 2018 motor racing season will be confirmed in due course.
“I’m really happy to be back racing at the Dubai 24 Hours, especially moving up into GT3 with the guys at V8 Racing”, said Hutchison, who is backed by In Home Displays, Fitbox Virtual, Evoson and Hutchison Technologies, “Winning the TCR class on my debut 12 months ago was incredible, but this will be a big step up in competitiveness – I’m not under any illusions regarding the challenge ahead.
“The experience I gained in the Renaultsport R.S.01 at Zandvoort will be vital for the move into the Corvette, they’re both incredibly powerful cars and I can’t wait for practice to start in Dubai next week. I’ve got some very experienced team-mates at V8 Racing and we’re definitely not there to make up the numbers, we’re all determined to fight as hard as possible for a very strong result.”
Based in Schiedam in The Netherlands, Hutchison’s new team V8 Racing is one of the most high-profile entrants in the Dubai 24 Hours. Despite problems with the air conditioning during last year’s event, plus illness for one of the drivers, the squad still ended the contest fifth in class.
Opening free practice for the 2018 Hankook Dubai 24 Hours will get underway at 12.15 (local time) on Thursday, 11th January, at Dubai Autodrome with an additional session following immediately afterwards. Qualifying will then follow at 17.00 (local time) ahead of a night-time practice session which begins at 17.30 (local time).
On Friday, 12th January, after a half hour warm-up the competitors will get ready for the start of the big race at 14.00 (local time). Live coverage of qualifying, night practice and, of course, the 24 Hours itself will be streamed online HERE