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Gulf 12 Hours: Yas Marina, Track Walk

Photography by Pedro

There was time for a track walk around the Yas Marina circuit this lunchtime with the McLaren GT boys ahead of the start of track action for the Gulf 12 Hours field later this evening,  Rob Bell and Kevin Estre have both raced here before (Bell in the Gulf 12 Hours, Estre in the F1 supporting Porsche Supercup).

Both factory McLaren GT drivers were showing the lines to Giles Vannelet with some fascinating tips on braking points and cornering lines.

The circuit is stunning, a fantastic first few corners before the auditorium section, the full pelt back straight and then a rather less spectacular final section, photographically iconic but a little more “twiddly diddly” according to one of our number!

The circuit has no fewer than three fully equipped and garaged pit lanes and, of course, the twists and turns around the iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel, that section though is perhaps the least challenging of all parts of a circuit built as the centrepiece to an emerging grand vision to what is effectively the leisure quarter of the Emirate.

And now a history lesson courtesy of Abu Dhabi and Omani Air Force expert Rob ‘Anorak’ Barff – Yas Island was, for years, a sand island used as a target range for the Omani Air Force’s BAC Strikemasters, a massive clear up operation was required before building started here, and a huge amount of piling work was required to build the circuit, and the other impressive structures that now surround it.

With the clock ticking towards sunset locally the place takes on a new look,  floodlit and stunning,  More of that later on DSC.