New series, new driver and a new car for UAE based team Oryx racing

Team Oryx Racings new car preview Team Oryx Racings new car preview

Oryx Racing has announced it will take part in the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in North America, the first time it has competed as an independent racing team. The Abu Dhabi-based team will kick off the season this weekend at the world-famous Daytona 24 hour race, with new driver, Emirati Saeed Al Muhairi joining Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane in the first of thirteen races.

Last year, Al Masaood and Kane raced in the American Le Mans Series in partnership with legendary American sports car team, Dyson Racing. For 2012, by entering a new series with a new team member and in a new car, Oryx Racing is taking a major step forward as a fully competitive, independently run international racing team.

Speaking about the decision, team owner and racer Al Masaood said: “Moving forward as an independent team is an exciting step for us. While our time with Dyson Racing was fantastic, competing in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series allows us to move to a new level. We are very excited by what is happening with the Grand-Am, which is more competitive than ever before, and racing in this prestigious series is a great opportunity for us, our sponsors and the United Arab Emirates to enjoy global recognition.”

Joining Oryx Racing this year is Emirati racing driver, Saeed Al Muhairi who brings youth, robust ambition and experience to the team. Having been on the racing scene since 2007, racing in karts before graduating to official race driver of the Yas Marina Circuit Aston Martin GT4, Al Muhairi shares a common goal with his team mates Al Masaood and Kane, namely to achieve success on a major international motorsport platform.

Commenting on Al Muhairi joining the team, Al Masaood said: “We are really looking forward to working with Saeed. He brings enthusiasm, an excellent team spirit and a passion to wave the UAE flag at an international level. He’s a very strong driver, and a great addition to the Oryx Racing team.”

The new sports car, designed and built for the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car series, is the Audi R8 Grand-Am which is brand new to U.S racing with its competitive debut at Daytona this weekend. Oryx Racing is just one of two teams competing in this new model, which is fitted with a V10 engine delivering over 500Nm of torque, has a dry weight of just 1,290kg and a top speed of over 300kmh. Followers of the race season will readily identify the car courtesy of the UAE flag emblazoned across its roof.

Oryx Racing will take start their new adventure in one of North America’s most prestigious sports car races infamous races - the 50th Anniversary of Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The race which runs this weekend from 26th-29th January, will present a very different challenge for the team, whose preparations took in the recent Dunlop 24 Hours at the Dubai Autodrome. The circuit consists primarily of oval banking shaped and is floodlit, like the Yas Marina Circuit, all of which will provide a new experience.

Al Masaood said “The new car brings with it new opportunities and challenges. We feel really confident about the performance of the car having spent three days testing at Daytona at the beginning of the month. The new season ahead is going to be different for Steven, Saeed and I but we will tackle it as we have done so in the past, with enthusiasm and hard work. We know that the season ahead is going to be competitive and place different demands on us as a team compared to last season, but we will rise to the challenge.”