13.01.2011 - Practice, Qualifying and Nightpractice of the 24h Dubai
Valentin arrived at Dubai Airport on Tuesday, 11th of January, to do scrutineering and administrative checks without pressure and to acclimate. Furthermore he wanted to get to know his team arround family Weiland and where do you get to know people best? At lunch!
On Wednesday there was first a little sightseeing with breakfast at the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Jumeirah what was really impressive.
Afterwards Valentin got back to the racetrack where he met the other drivers, Matthias and Andreas Weiland, Jörg Viebahn and Stefan Müller. Even if Valentin already drove at Dubai the year before he decided to go around the track to be best prepared for his first ride on the Porsche. Stefan Müller, Valentins teammate never drove at Dubai before and so he decided to come with Valentin, who could tell him some things about the track.
On Thursday morning, there was a very early drivers briefing and afterwards the first free practice where Valentin drove 5 laps and already did the second best laptime in the team behind Jörg Viebahn.
In the qualifying Valentin drove only 2 timed laps which were a little faster than his laps of the morning and in the second qualifying session Jörg Viebahn drove the 5th best time in the Porsche 997 Cup-class and the 37th overall.
After the qualifying the team made some setup changes even if Valentin liked the slightly oversteering setup more. And so when Valentin started into the night practice, the car was very understeering for Valentin and in the 2 laps he did, Valentin absolutely disliked the cars setup but could change his line immediately. The other drivers liked it and so after the night practice the team made a setup between the setup of the qualifying and the setup of the night practice for the race.
A very important thing in a 24h race are the pitstops and the driver changes and so after the nightpractice all drivers stayed in their racing suits and practiced as long as they needed 35 seconds for a driver change what is exactly as long as the mechanics need to change the tires.