This past weekend (Nov. 25–27), the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival roared into action. Celebrating the very best of motorsport from a bygone era, the extended three-day extravaganza played host to some of the world’s finest drivers battling it out wheel-to-wheel in the heat of the desert in the motorsport off-season.
With four race classes across the weekend, the event was a true showcase of iconic motorsport machinery. Featuring Formula One cars from the ’70s and ’90s, in addition to ’80s and ’00s sports cars.
In the Formula One ’70s category, Mike Cantillon was victorious on Saturday in the Tyrrell 010-2, before Oliver Webb bettered his second-place finish on Sunday, claiming the top step in the Hesketh 308B.
Winner, Webb, said: “The 2022 Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival has been so fun. There are a lot of factory drivers here racing, which has made the on-track battles much more competitive.
“If you are a motorsport fan, to be able to talk to and get up close to some of the world’s finest drivers in and around the paddock, is truly exceptional. There has always been a big collection of historic racing cars and modern supercars here in the Middle East, so to put something on that has a unique ’70s feels in the region is so exceptional.”
In the ’80s sports car category, it was Marco Werner – winner of the Triple Crown in endurance racing – who took the chequered flag in the Gebhardt C88 in both races over the weekend. For the ’00s and prototype class, three-time Le Mans Winner, André Lotterer, claimed the win on Saturday, with a Porsche RS Spyder while Emmanuel Collard took victory in the Pescarolo LMP1 01 on the final day of the action-packed event.
Lotterer, said: “To have events like these, to honor the past with these amazing cars, is a real privilege. Everything about this event has been meticulously planned. The location, the timing is perfect and has grown to become an important event in the classic motorsport calendar.”
Motorsport legends past and present in attendance across the three-day event also included Alain Prost, Mark Webber, Stefan Johansson, Timo Bernhard and Thierry Boutsen.
European Le Mans series driver Sophia Flörsch, who drove in the Formula One ’90s demonstration runs during the three-day event, said: “It means quite a lot to be here. The winter break has already started for most drivers and to be here at the end of November at the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival, and to drive these cars, is amazing. I got goosebumps when I started the car and heard the engines roar. I hope to be here for many more years in the future.”
Away from the track, the paddock was a hub of entertainment with DJs and live musicians performing throughout. The Apex Garden provided exhilarating trackside viewing for members of the public, family entertainment and an open-air cinema showing all the live action and highlights from the weekend, in addition to offering panoramic views of one of the circuits most challenging sectors.
The event’s curated classic car display brought together some of the most stunning and rare cars of the past few decades from the Lamborghini Diablo and Countach, to a Ferrari Testarossa and Ferrai 250 Lusso and SP2 Monza. Jaguar Classic displayed two of most iconic racing roadsters – its continuation C-Type and D-type models.
Pierre-Brice Mena, Managing Director of GP Extreme, said: “The second iteration of Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival was an enormous success. This wonderful celebration of motorsport in the Middle East has already made its mark and is beginning to cement itself as a ‘much-attend’ event for the future.
“This year’s event was demonstrably bigger than 2021, offering more racing, over more days and much more car content in the paddock for those coming to Dubai Autodrome. This was reflected through our attendance over the weekend, which was double that of our inaugural year.
“I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to our immensely supportive partners, drivers and of course those teams who came; without them this fantastic event wouldn’t be possible. I’d also like to thank the thousands of guests who visited us over the three days; we look forward to welcoming you back to the Middle East in 2023.”