Grove Racing has announced Matt Payne’s 2024 season will begin later this month in the 24H Series’ Middle East Trophy’s Dubai 24 Hours at the Dubai Autodrome.
The Adelaide race winner will join team owners Stephen and Brenton Grove, and Britain’s Phil Keen in a new Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“We’ve tried our hand at Dubai a few times before and have been super close,” said Brenton Grove. “With the lineup of car and driver that we have this year, there’s no hiding our ambition to go one step further.
“To head back to Abu Dhabi after the issues the team had to deal with last time is going to be a blessing. We can’t wait to get a big year of racing started,”
“To head into another season with a new brand is incredibly refreshing. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing have been a pleasure to deal with, and we’re excited to see what we can do together. There’s no need to explain the pedigree the brand has within motorsport, and we can’t wait to be a part of that.
“It really is the World’s Fastest Family!”
An ABS failure in Grove Racing’s last outing, in the Gulf 12 Hours, resulted in a significant crash that forced them from contention. Richie Stanaway was included in Grove’s lineup for that race, making his first outing for the team before a full-time Supercars campaign in 2024.
The Gulf 12 Hours was their final outing as long-term Porsche customers, having now switched to Mercedes.
Their new Mercedes-AMG GT3 will hit the track for the first time at next weekend’s 6H Abu Dhabi with the Groves joined by Australia’s Jordan Love.
Previous New Zealand winners in the 24H Dubai include Craig Baird, who joined Tony Quinn, Klark Quinn and Jonathon Webb in a Porsche 997 GT3-RSR in 2008, and Brendon Hartley, in partnership with Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn, Alfred Renauer and Robert Renauer in Herberth Motorsport’s Porsche 991 GT3 R.
Fifty-six entries have been confirmed for the event, including Brendon Leitch’s Leipert Motorsport.
Initially scheduled for 12-14 January, shipping delays pushed the event back two weeks, with practice sessions now beginning on January 25 ahead of the race from 10 pm on Saturday, January 26 (NZ Time).
Velocity News’s Motorsport Diary will provide viewing information ahead of the event.
Header Image: Supercars