Valentino Rossi Fourth In World Endurance Championship Sports Car Debut

Valentino Rossi Fourth In World Endurance Championship Sports Car Debut

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Michael Gougis.

On the weekend before the MotoGP 2024 season opener at Lusail International Circuit, nine-time motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion Valentino Rossi finished just off the podium in his World Endurance Championship sports car debut at the Qatar 1812km as the MotoGP legend geared up for racing in the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Driving the factory Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 in the production-based LMGT3 class, Rossi and teammates Ahmad Al Harthy and Maxime Martin finished fourth, one lap down to the winning Porsche 911 GT3 R but only 12.647 seconds behind the Aston Martin Vantage AMR in third after nearly 10 hours of racing.

“It’s a good start to the season as finishing P4 is quite good but it’s a shame to be so close to the podium,” Rossi said. “It was a perfect race for us with no mistakes. The guys did an amazing job in the pits as well and we just missed a little bit of speed to make it to the podium.”

The fan experience for the WEC event at Lusail International Circuit included free bottled water, live bands, video arcades and viewing areas where spectators could lounge on beanbag chairs and watch the race on big-screen monitors. A double-decker shuttle bus carried spectators to three different viewing platforms around the outer perimeter of the track, giving them the chance to see the racing from several perspectives.

The WEC event and the MotoGP tickets were sold only as a package – individual event general admission tickets were not available. The two events were billed as the 2024 Lusail Speed Fest 2024. In addition to the amenities listed above, the package included free parking, free admission to the main straight grandstands and the Turn One “Lusail Hill” stands for three days of the WEC event and all three days of the MotoGP event for 200 Qatar riyal, approximately $55 U.S. dollars.

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