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The 1981 Dubai Grand Prix

With thanks to John Hindhaugh for spotting this on YouTube

Here’s a substantial report on a quite amazing event, the 1981 Dubai Grand Prix, presented in true BBC style by William Woolard this event, run by the same man who later went on to promote the Birmingham Superprix on a very sandy circuit close to the waterfront, featured demonstration runs by F1 cars, the world’s first appearance by the Nimrod Aston Martin Group C car (by the look of things running in off road set-up!) a celebrity race involving Citroen CXs, lots of famous drivers, Dan Gurney ignoring the rulebook and Stirling Moss having a sense of humour failure!

With thanks to the Citroen Archive for the pic below

Grand Prix de DUBAI 1981 - CL_81_007_009

The feature race was for historic sportscars and was won by Gerry Marshall.

Rene de Boer, here in Dubai for the 24 Hours this weekend, remembers this event well (though he is at pains to say that he was only 8 years old at the time) and recalls that Citroen replaced the originally intended Visas for the celebrity races with the larger and more expensive CXs in the hope that their celebrity drivers would add to the cars provenance and would lead to the race cars being sold at a premium – As you’ll see it didn’t quite work out like that!