How The UAE Hosted Its First Grand Prix 40 Years Ago

The Dubai Grand Prix featured an F1 time attack contest and racing legends in a Citroën CX race

This weekend Solution One will certainly end their dramatic period with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in the race’s titular emirate. While the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix became the initial therefore much only Solution One Globe Championship race in the United Arab Emirates in 2009, it was not the very first race to be referred to as a grand prix within its boundaries.

The surrounding emirate of Dubai held its own grand prix 40 years earlier. In October 1981, the Formula One season wrapped up in Las Vegas with the well known Caesars Palace Grand Prix. Two months later on, there would be a race on the Dubai Corniche around the Hyatt Rule hotel. Regardless of the name, there’s no relationship to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia, simply a comparable basic geographic area.

Yes, the Dubai Grand Prix had not been an F1 race. The headline occasion of the grand prix itself was a sports car race. The race was won by a Lola T70 with Gerry Marshall behind the wheel. The field largely contained British chauffeurs. This was because of the race being organized by Martin Hone, who would certainly later on bring the Birmingham Superprix to fulfillment.

If the viewers weren’t curious about sports cars, the celebrities in assistance events deserved the cost of admission alone. Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby, Phil Hillside, Dan Cart, Bruno Giacomelli, Derek Bell, Nigel Mansell and also Helmut Marko drove in a Citroën CX all-star race. Giacomelli verified to be the fastest in the Citroën CXs as well as won the race.

Fans did reach see Formula One equipment out on the track as John Watson in a McLaren MP4/1 and also Patrick Tambay in a Theodore TY01 attempted to win $5,000 in a fastest lap competition. Additionally, Juan Manuel Fangio drove one of the Mercedes-Benz W196s, in which he saw his 1950s success. Sadly, Fangio suffered a cardiac arrest during the demo run, needing the five-time world champion to undertake cardiac bypass surgery.

The 1981 event to honor the tenth anniversary of the UAE’s independence would be the only time the Dubai Grand Prix would certainly be run. This month, a classic motorsport event was held at the Dubai Autodrome to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary of the Dubai Grand Prix as well as the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s formation. Regardless of Abu Dhabi’s now-perennial place on the F1 calendar, this 40-year old race still holds importance in Dubai.