***Andreas Simonsen was quickest in warmup this morning. Driving the No. 3 Abu Dhabi Racing by Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, the Swede was 0.893 seconds quicker than the Porsche 997 GT3 R of last year’s race winners Stadler Motorsport. The No. 120 Peugeot suffering a broken suspension briefly halted a rather uneventful session.
***Thirteen cars have been assigned to the A6-Pro class and 12 to A6-Am. The A6-Am cars will have to stay above the reference lap time of 2:04, but will get ten ‘joker laps’. Amongst the drivers in the A6-Am class are several professional drivers, including Joe Osborne, Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell-Walter, as well as the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN drivers.
***89 cars are set to start the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai later today. The weekend started with 94 cars, but accident damage has ruled out the No. 62 STP Racing Porsche, the No. 51 Primus Racing Ginetta, as well as the No. 15 Glorax Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Modena Motorsports had entered four Renault Clio Cup cars this weekend, but withdrew two before practice.
***Scuderia Praha successfully repaired its Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, following yesterday’s accident in practice. The Czech team took part in the warmup session this morning and finished fifth, with Peter Kox setting the team’s fastest lap time.
***The full grid for the 10th annual Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai can be found here. The No. 3 Abu Dhabi Racing by Black Falcon Mercedes and No. 69 Gulf Racing Lamborghini were given a three-place grid penalty for overtaking under red flags.
***The Dubai Police displayed a lineup of luxury and high-performance vehicles (pictured above), used for patrolling tourist areas, prior to the opening of the grid. On display were a Ferrari, McLaren, Audi and a Mercedes-Benz. The Bugatti Veyron was not on display, ‘as it had broken down’.
***With the Roar Before the Rolex 24 having been moved to this weekend, it’s resulted in a noteworthy decrease in American drivers taking part in the 24H Dubai. Only three drivers (Nick Hammann, Stephen Perry and Hal Prewitt) are flying the stars and stripes in Dubai, with GT Academy driver Hammann the only American in the GT3-based A6 class.
***Swiss outfit Squadra Corse has purchased a pair of used Ferrari F458 Italia GTE cars, which could be used in VdeV competition or potentially 24H Series races later this year, according to team principal Yoshiki Ohmura. The team has entered an A2 class Renault Clio Cup Endurance for today’s race for Ohmura, Andreas Segler, Thomas Stockinger and Thomas Lofflad, all four drivers making their 24-hour debuts.
***Watch the 10th anniversary Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai on the series’ official Web site, with lights-to-flag coverage of the race, which begins Saturday at 2 p.m. local (5 a.m. ET). Full 24-hour coverage will also be available on Motors TV for the first time.
John Dagys contributed to this report