Weekend Preview: 11-Jan-08

Weekend Preview: 10th & 11th January 2009

Dakar Rally
The competitors reach the halfway stage of the famous endurance test over the weekend. Sensation today as a leading car entrant was disqualified for skipping part of the route! So that’s about all I know of the how the ’09 event is progressing. I’m backing Carlos Sainz to win! Mentally, not with an actual bet.. Info at www.dakar.com. TV on Eurosport, Versus, etc.

Toya Tires Dubai 24 Hours
Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The circuit racing season kicks off with the first 24 Hour race of the year, featuring GT and Touring Car teams and drivers from Europe and Asia. It looks like most of them are running Porsche 997s of some description. Actually the only thing of note about this race is that one of the teams is running the new Audi R8 GT car.
This event takes place on Friday and ends on Saturday due to local customs regarding when they have their weekend.
I can’t find details of live TV coverage, although I’m not convinced you’d want them. MotorsTV usually has a half hour highlights package on extensive re-air in the weeks after the race, although that might only have been because they entered two cars last year. I watched it last year, pretty damned boring. I mean who wants to watch a 24 hour race on sandy roads through a desert? You have no bearings or reference points. Imagine the ALMS race at Utah but without the prototypes or people. If you’re as confused as I am about which brand-new Middle East venue is which, this is the one GP2 Asia visits and not F1 (Bahrain) or MotoGP (Qatar). In Dubai’s defence, lots of buildings are springing up nearby so it probably looks completely different now….
The official website is www.24hdubai.com although the Dubai Autodrome website is a far superior source of information.

New Zealand V8 Supercar
4 of 7 – Timaru, New Zealand
I’ve never heard of Timaru, I don’t know who’s racing, I have nothing to add.

Trophee Andros
4 of 7 – Lans-en-Vercors, France
Sideways ice racing at it’s best! Multiple F1 champion Alain Prost is racing again, I expect touring car man Yvan Muller is too. I have no clue where/when you can see this so check listings.

Autosport International
NEC, Birmingham, England
This isn’t a race, it is the annual racing ‘trade’ show at the NEC in Birmingham, being held from today until Sunday. Expect lots of transcripts of Q&As and comments appearing over at autosport.com from their featured guests on the main stage. If you get their RSS news feed that’ll be why it went crazy busy today! Last year they made several interviews available as audio clips, too (but I don’t think those will be in the feed). There are updates throughout the weekend on MotorsTV (Sky ch.413 and also available on Virgin Media).

Blog Note – Next week’s Preview may not appear due to the lack of racing. It’s January! What I will do over the weekend is summarise today’s FIA/FOTA releases as well as the highlights of what is coming out of Autosport International.

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