CORNELIUS, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman are teaming up again to race in the sixth-annual Dubai 24 Hour sports car race at the ultra-modern Dubai Autodrome on Friday.
The event marks the first international motor race of 2011.
The two-time Daytona 500 champion and Kauffman will drive one of 90 entrants in the race that features nearly every sports car manufacturer.
“I love racing cars,” said Waltrip. “We had a blast racing there last year and wanted to do it again. I couldn’t believe the number of people that came up to me in Dubai and wanted to talk about NASCAR racing or ask a question about our team. I came back and told everyone at MWR that fans are paying attention to what we are doing on the other side of the world.”
Waltrip and Kauffman will join co-drivers Rui Aguas and Matt Griffin behind the wheel of the Ferrari F430 GT2 of the AF Corse team. Waltrip and Kauffman raced this car in Dubai last year and in Belgium where they scored an impressive third-place finish on the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit.
The 3.5-mile track at the Dubai Autodrome is one of the most modern in the world; it is also one of the most challenging, as it has a combination of high-speed straights and technical corners.
NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Bobby Labonte and David Reutimann joined Waltrip and Kauffman at a Dec. 18-21 test session in Portugal where the AF Corse team prepared for Dubai.
Race fans can track Waltrip’s progress during the Dubai weekend on his Twitter account @mw55.
Track action starts on Thursday with daylight practice, qualifying and night practice. The 24-hour race will start on Friday at 2 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET)
Waltrip and Kauffman own MWR which fields NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries for Waltrip, Martin Truex Jr. and Reutimann.