Jeroen Bleekemolen and Khaled Al Qubaisi will be seeking their second race victory in the last three years, as the Abu Dhabi Racing by Black Falcon pairing take on the Gulf 12 Hours alongside newly crowned FIA GT World Cup driver Maro Engel.
The trio have been confirmed in the German squad’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 for the fifth running of the Middle Eastern enduro that’s set for Friday at Yas Marina Circuit.
Bleekemolen, Al Qubaisi and AMG factory driver Bernd Schneider won the event in 2013, with this year’s race likely marking the final outing for the venerable gull-winged beast in top-level competition, prior to the debut of the new AMG GT3 next month in Dubai.
“It will never be easy,” Al Qubaisi said of their chances on Friday. “Team AF Corse and its three Ferraris are in a strong position, especially after winning three out of four previous races.
“We are better prepared than last year where we came 2nd. We feel we have a good chance of winning this year.”
Black Falcon will again enter a second SLS AMG GT3 in Abu Dhabi, but this time for reigning Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai winners Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Yelmer Buurman.
A total of 20 cars are entered for the race, with on-track action set to get underway on Wednesday evening.