The next edition of the Gulf 12 Hours scheduled for January 9 has been relocated from Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit to Bahrain International Circuit.
Race promoter Driving Force Events confirmed on Monday that Bahrain was chosen as the new venue to “accommodate various logistical and organizational requirements”.
Whilst remaining in the Gulf region, it will mark the first time that the event has been held outside the United Arab Emirates.
The race will be open to GT3 and GT4 competitors only, with LMP3s no longer allowed.
The provisional GT3 entry features 22 cars including several GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS regulars, while an update stating more participants is expected soon.
The race was originally set to be held at Yas Marina this December, but when Formula One rearranged its Abu Dhabi Grand Prix onto the same weekend the Gulf enduro was pushed back to January 2021.
It will mark the first international GT3 race at Bahrain International Circuit since the 2018 FIA GT Nations Cup, which was a precursor to the FIA Motorsport Games.
The 3.36-mile circuit already plays host to one long-distance sports car race – the FIA World Endurance Championship 8 Hours of Bahrain – as well as the Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix.
“We have worked hard with both circuits to make two events in 2021 a success,” said Driving Force Events director Andrea Ficarelli.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to have the Gulf 12 Hours run on two fantastic circuits which will be a great experience for all concerned.
“We thank Bahrain International Circuit for their support and for offering us the chance to host an edition of the Gulf 12 Hours at their prestigious venue, as well as the teams which have been accommodating in these challenging circumstances.”
Driving Force Events also confirmed that it plans to stage the 2021 edition of the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina on Dec. 18, for what will be its 10th running in Abu Dhabi.