Dunlop Dubai 24 Hours International GT Race
The 2012 motorsport season kicks off for George on January 13th/14th when Optimum Motorsport compete in their first international 24 hour endurance race in Dubai, with their four driver line up of Lee Mowle, George, Gary Simms and Joe Osborne.
The Dubai 24hr International GT race is now firmly established as a key event with GT race teams from around the world.
Hosted at the prestigious Dubai Autodrome, the grid covers a variety of cars from the dizzying velocity of the Ferrari 458 and Mercedes SLS GT3 cars, fighting it out for outright race victory, to Renault Clio’s in the slowest class. A team usually consists of four drivers sharing the 24 hours of driving, typically completing one and a half hour stints at a time, through the searing desert heat and the dark of the night.
The first Dubai 24hr was held in 2006, and the race now stands as one of the ultimate tests of endurance for the car and drivers, not least because of the of 25C plus average temperatures.
Drivers – Lee Mowle, George Murrells, Gary Simms, Joe Osborne
Lee Mowle – Lee only began racing at the start of the 2010 season, and will have enjoyed a steep learning curve between his first race at a soggy Pembrey circuit in a Ginetta G20, to when he steps into the car in Dubai. 2011 saw him finish 9th in a Ginetta G40 in the ultra competitive Ginetta Challenge, and earn class wins in the GT Trophy with George and in Britcar partnering George and Joe Osborne driving the Ginetta G50 the team will race in Dubai.
George Murrells – George began racing in 2008 in the 750 Motor Club Stock Hatch championship, taking the Rookie of the Year award. Moving to the Ginetta Challenge in 2009, he raced for Optimum in 2010 and won the championship. On the back of this success, 2011 saw George compete in the Ginetta GT Supercup in a Ginetta G55, taking podiums and a race win at Rockingham, and class victories partnering Lee Mowle in GT Trophy and Britcar enduro events.
Gary Simms – Gary is an experienced Ginetta race driver, having started racing in the Ginetta Challenge in 2007. He also has GT experience, having raced and won in the GT4 class of the British GT4 championship in 2009. Gary is only driver in the team to have completed a 24hr race before, racing a Honda Civic in the 2010 Britcar event. In 2011, Gary finished runner up in the G20 class of the Ginetta Challenge, taking several race wins.
Joe Osborne – Joe is perhaps the most experienced driver in the team, having begun racing back in 2005 in Formula BMW UK. He completes the complement of drivers in the Optimum team to have competed in the Ginetta Challenge, finishing 5th in 2007. Since then Joe has found success racing a Ginetta G50, winning the inaugural European GT4 Championship in 2009. In 2011, Joe stepped up to the FIA GT3 European Championship racing an Audi R8 with United Autosports.
Team – Optimum Motorsport
Optimum Motorsport stand among the most successful teams racing in Ginetta championships. A stalwart of the Ginetta marque, their cars have won the Ginetta Challenge in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010 with George and in 2011 with Mark Davies at the wheel. The team have also taken their expertise into the BTCC paddock, where they have taken race wins in the both the Ginetta G50 and G55 class of the 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup. Their recent forays into endurance racing with the Ginetta G50 have been successful too, delivering class victories and outright podium results in Britcar and GT Trophy in 2011 with Lee Mowle, George Murrells, Joe Osborne behind the wheel.
Car – Ginetta G50 GT4
The team will be driving a Ginetta G50 GT4 car owned by Lee Mowle and supported by Stewart Group. With several classes dividing the 80 car field, depending on engine size, weight and performance, the G50 finds itself in the competitive SP3 class where it will be up against an international entry of Aston Martin Vantage GT4′s, Audi R8’s, Lotus Evora’s, Nissan 370Z’s, BMW M3’s and more Ginetta G50′s .
The goal for the team and drivers is a class win, but no-one is under estimating the huge challenge ahead of them. You can follow their journey with updates from George throughout the event on Twitter :
Also, stay in touch with live race timing and car tracker at :
TV – The race is being covered live by Motors TV to 40 countries across Europe and Africa (in the UK, Virgin Media channel 545 and Sky channel 413), as well as live-streaming on the internet.
A highlights show will also be broadcast on Motors TV and SkySports during February and March. The schedule can be found at :
Radio – Radio LeMans are providing exclusive coverage.