Gulf 12 Hours organiser announces new Bahrain GT race

A new GT endurance race has been announced for the Bahrain International Circuit later this year by the organiser of the Gulf 12 Hours.

Gulf 12 Hours organiser announces new Bahrain GT race

The Bahrain ProAm 1000 set for 11 December is the brainchild of the British-based Driving Force Events organisation that has run the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi since 2012.

The 1000km event will be open exclusively to amateur and pro-am driver line-ups racing GT3 and GT4 machinery, as well cars from one-make sportscar series such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Lamborghini SuperTrofeo.

Driving Force boss Andrea Ficarelli told Autosport: "Today it is difficult to do something new in motorsport, but we are offering the absolute guarantee that amateur drivers will be fighting for victory in this new event.

"We believe that it is an opportunity that doesn't exist at the moment in the world of GT endurance racing, at least at a circuit of the level of BIC.

"Endurance racing exists and succeeds thanks to the passion of thousands of gentleman and semi-professional drivers, so we believe it is time to launch a new event tailor-made around them.”

The launch of the new event follows the Gulf 12 Hours switching from its traditional home at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi to Bahrain on a one-off basis earlier this year as a result of international travel restrictions.

"We developed a good relationship with the circuit and received good feedback from the teams, so we thought let's try something new," explained Ficarelli.

BIC commercial director Sherif Al Mahdy added: “We have a long and successful history of endurance racing in Bahrain and we are delighted to be able to bring this new initiative to BIC.

"We look forward to working with the team at Driving Force Events to put together a memorable race for all involved.”

#46 VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini, Alessio Salucci

#46 VR46 Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3: Valentino Rossi, Luca Marini, Alessio Salucci

Photo by: Gulf 12 Hours

Ficarelli revealed that he is aiming for a 24-car grid in year one of the Bahrain event later this year.

The event will be split into two classes, pro-am and am.

One professional driver of either platinum or gold ranking will be allowed in the pro-am class, while line-ups in am must be made up exclusively of silvers and bronzes.

A bronze driver will be mandated in all cars.

Ficarelli estimated that the race is likely to last in the region of six hours and 20 minutes, but stated that there will be a seven-hour maximum duration.

Abu Dhabi will again host the Gulf 12 Hours on 8 January next year.

A move back to the traditional December calendar slot for an event made up of a pair of six-hour races is planned for the end of 2022.

The second edition of the Bahrain ProAm 1000 is tentatively scheduled for January 2023.

Did you know...

... Bahrain once hosted a 24-hour race? The event in 2006 was won by a Konrad Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-RSR with a line-up including team boss Franz Konrad and Wolfgang Kaufmann.

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