WORDS: NATHAN CHADWICK | PHOTOS: GULF HISTORIC DUBAI GP REVIVAL
The third edition of the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival was the biggest yet, boasting larger grids, more spectators than ever and special moments for several drivers, as they were reunited with special cars from their past. Taking place December 14-17, 2023, the event at the Dubai Autodrome saw the host nation’s warm weather matched by the fun but competitive action.
It’s a real feel-good weekend, and I think everyone really enjoys it and loves the whole atmosphere
The weekend took in five different categories, with endurance racing from the 1960s and the 2000s on show, as well as Formula 1 from the 1970s right up to the 1990s. Four-time F1 World Champion Alain Prost was reunited with his controversial 1991 Ferrari 641 for a demonstration run, while other leading lights of motor sport enjoyed the atmosphere. Away from the on-track action there was a 1970s-themed mixture of music and food, while the Dubai Classics category brought out a fine selection of classics for a static display, as well as demonstration runs.
The Le Mans 60s event, held on the Saturday and racing from sunset to darkness, was won by Kyle Tilley and Nicolas Minassian in a 1965 Ford GT, while the two Le Mans 00s races were won by Steve Brooks, competing in a 2010 Peugeot 90X.
The F1 Classics from the 1990s featured the demonstration from the aforementioned Alain Prost, but Stefan Johansson and Nico Prost also got a taste. Sophia Flörsch drove the ex-Damon Hill Brabham BT60B (pictured above). “It’s very special to drive an F1 car, especially in Dubai with the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival,” she said. “It’s getting better every year, if that’s actually possible, and the atmosphere is super cool and something really special.”
Stefan Johansson, who drove the 1987 Leyton House 871, said: “It’s a great event – I love coming here, and the team does such a great job with the set-up and organisation, particularly with the ’70s theme. It’s a real feel-good weekend, and I think everyone really enjoys it and loves the whole atmosphere.”
In the Le Mans 80s+ class, Iconic Racing’s 1990 Porsche 962 took victory in the Saturday morning race, while Arthur Mathieu and Bernhard Van Orange-Nassau took victory in the Sunday race in their 1991 Cougar C28LM.
“With more races, more drivers and an even greater selection of cars from across the years, this staging of the Gulf Historic Dubai GP Revival has been the biggest and best event to date,” said Frédéric Fatien, founder of event organiser GP Extreme. “Attracting more than 16,000 attendees over the three days, we have once again proven the magic of classic motor racing, and the significant rise in attendance from last year demonstrates the growing interest in the sport we love in this region.”
GP Extreme and Master Historics Racing announced their merger over the weekend – you can find out more about that here.