GulfSport Racing was founded by Martin and Barry Hope in Bahrain in 2004 courtesy of the Board of the Bahrain International Circuit. Running trackdays, test sessions and ’SpeedTrip’ events (the Triathlon of Motorsport) GulfSport introduced many people from Bahrain, KSA and the UAE to the sport and made a lot of friends.
As the exclusive distributor for Radical Sportscar Ltd across the GCC countries, GulfSport organised support races for the inaugural A1GP of Dubai in 2005 with Radical teams from the UK. GulfSport’s race engineer and 2004 F.Renault BARC Champion Nicky Wilson put Ghassan Shalabi’s Radical SR8 on pole, much to the surprise of the more experienced British teams. The success of this big event in Dubai was the catalyst for the development of the Gulf Radical Cup which GulfSport ran for 80 races, introducing some 50 new drivers and in the process selling 29 new and more than a dozen used Radical sportcars.
2006 saw the opening of GulfSport’s new race shop in Al Quoz, Dubai. Supplying racewear and equipment to most of the kart, race and rally drivers across the region, GulfSport has since grown to be the largest professional racing equipment retailer in the region. With the advent of a web-store showing product detail and pricing, GulfSport now provides its customers with an on-line shop window.
In 2008 Caterham Cars appointed GulfSport to provide a regional sales and customer support facility, since then they have sold every major model including the Superlight CSR and Top Gear’s car of the Year, the R500. Ginetta Cars and GulfSport collaborated in 2009 to develop a version of the G50 suitable for local climatic conditions. The Ginetta G50HC went on to win two races in the UAE GT Championship. Team GulfSport now prepare and run Ginettas for customers in the GT series. In 2011 GulfSport Racing won the UAE GTC Team Championship and the UAE GTC Drivers Championship.
2010 saw Maserati appointing GulfSport as its Technical Partner and Advisor for its racing activities in the region. GulfSport prepared and ran two factory Maserati GranTurismo MC cars in the 2010/11 UAE GT Championship.
Formula Gulf 1000 is the region’s first professionally run single seater series designed to offer ambitious young drivers the first step on the ladder to international racing. With the region’s focus on finding the ‘first Arab F1 driver’, FG1000 is perfectly placed to support this ambitious goal.
GulfSport’s pioneering work was recognised in December 2010 when CAR Magazine awarded it the prestigious ‘Motorsport Achievement of the Year Award’.
As part of Ghassan Shalabi’s Strata Group of Companies, GulfSport benefits from shared corporate resources and facilities to operate as one of the most effective and efficient SMEs in the UAE.