DUBAI // The Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen helped Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon take pole position for Friday's Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai with a fastest lap of one minute, 59.104 seconds.
Bleekemolen is sharing the Mercedes with Britain's Sean Edwards and the Emirati Khaled Al Qubaisi - two drivers who teamed up with him to win the race last year - and the trio are joined by the German Bernd Schneider.
Al Qubaisi is the first Emirati to be part of a pole position-winning team since the race began eight years ago. Claiming pole was a reward after Team Abu Dhabi's original car was damaged during a crash in testing on Wednesday.
They acquired a replacement chassis from the British Preci-Spark team that had brought a spare car to Dubai, and mechanics worked all night to convert it from its sprint configuration to make it suitable for a 24-hour race.
"They put the engine, the gearbox, the fuel tank, the suspension and many other parts from our original car in and really did an amazing job, because the car felt great," Bleekemolen said.
What 24 Hours of Dubai
When Friday and Saturday
Where Dubai Autodrome
Friday: 10.30am, practice; 2pm, race start; 8pm, fireworks
Saturday: 2pm, race finishes; 2.15pm, podium ceremony
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