Khaled Al Qubaisi will take a sabbatical from the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017 after a three-year campaign in the GTE AM class with Proton Competition, latterly under the Abu Dhapi Proton banner.
Current business commitments, with a time consuming merger underway involving the major Abu Dhabi financial institution for who Al Qubaisi is a senior executive, means that the the commitment for the World Endurance Championship is not possible this season.
“It’s a shame but this year I cannot afford the time away from my work to consider a full season,” said Khaled in the hours before the start of the 2017 Hankook Dubai 24 Hours where he formed part of the Black Falcon AMG GT3 attack.
“I hope to be able to race again later this year, and perhaps some WEC races might be possible – We will see!”
That will be a disappointment to Aston Martin Racing; Al Qubaisi tested the V8 Vantage on the post race test day in Bahrain last November having made it clear that a return with the Porsche was unlikely in 2017.
Al Qubaisi’s WEC career has seen seven podium finishes, plus a pair of wins in the 2016 Championship, the Abu Dhabi Proton squad finishing second in he LM GTE AM points standings in the 2016 Championship.