UAE Rotax Max Challenge double header at Dubai Kartdrome

UAE Rotax Max Challenge double header at Dubai Kartdrome

22.11.2015: Al Rawahi, Pook, Kermanshahchi, Al Habsi brothers all take pole positions

Al Rawahi, Pook, Kermanshahchi, Al Habsi brothers all take pole positions

photo caption    Taymour Kermanshahchi (200) leads from the start in the Junior MAX Final

Dubai Kartdrome hosted Round 4 of the 2015-2016 UAE Rotax MAX Challenge on the ultra-fast Speedway circuit configuration, on Saturday (21 November) the second day of a double header weekend at the venue.

Day two produced another enthralling episode of action and drama which has come to characterise the country’s premier karting championship.

Birel ART driver Sanad Al Rawahi, who suffered a DNF on the first day, bounced back with a display worthy of the number six DD2 driver in the world – an accolade he achieved at the recent Rotax MAX Grand Finals in Portugal last weekend.

Friday’s pace setter Emanuel Pagani battled early on with Abdullah Al Rawahi and Oliver George in the Final, but had to settle for second place sandwiched between the Omani brothers – Sanad winning by a second and Abdullah in third – as they crossed the finish line.

George was fourth overall and with it did enough to claim maximum points in the race-within-a-race DD2 Masters class, with Kevin Day fifth overall and Jonathan Mowatt sixth – the pair second and third respectively in the DD2 Masters.

Al Rawahi said afterwards, “The first day was very tough, on the last lap I had a mechanical issue while in second place but to win after that was really good. I want to thank Birel ART for their support and providing me with the equipment to do the job.”

In the MAX class Pasqual Pook was unstoppable all weekend, winning the Heat race, Pre-final and Final comfortably as he did on Friday. In the Final he was slow off the line, but by mid-race was in command and simply drove away into the distance, winning by 3.3 seconds and setting the fastest lap in the process.

Behind him a three-way battle ensued between Fraser Rose, Jakob Robinson and Giulio Peroni – the latter leading early on. Rose did enough to pull away to claim second, while Robinson edged Peroni to finish third.

Lee Broadbank was fifth, with Round 2 (Al Forsan) winner Ahmed Al Khamisi rounded out the top six.

Pook said of his two days, “A perfect weekend where things fell into place, with everything going according to plan. Big thanks to my mechanic and the team who made sure I had a good kart all weekend. Now this puts me in a good place to intensify my Rotax MAX championship campaign.”

In the Junior MAX class Taymour Kermanshahchi was also a triple winner on day two, repeating the feat he accomplished 24 hours earlier. This time he won by 5.7 seconds and set himself as the man to beat for the title this season.

Tehmur Chohan powered to second place ahead of Enzo Fontanella claiming the third step of the podium, Marcus Lee Marker in fourth, Alain Bauwmans fifth and sixth place going to Khalid Al Wahaibi.

The battle at the sharp end of proceedings in the Final between Perdana Putra Minang, Eliot Jones and Logan Hannah came to nil as the trio were disqualified for continuing to race ‘under yellow flag’ conditions.

Race winner Kermanshahchi said of his weekend, “It was a good couple of days. I won everything in the Junior MAX class and am very happy with that. After messing up at the Grand Finals in Portugal, I found inspiration for this weekend. It is good to come home to Dubai and do well.”

Omani driver Shihab Al Habsi, racing in Scuderia Tony Kart colours, dominated proceedings in the Mini MAX class, with a clean sweep of wins on the day including top spot on the podium in the final which he won by less than a second from Jamie Day.

Sem Knopjes was third, 0.357 of a second ahead of Liam Crystal in fourth with Connor Donovan and Lachlan Robinson fifth and sixth respectively.

One of the highlights of the day was the battle between Mohamed Al Habsi and Alex Connor in the Micro MAX class. The pair swapping positions in just about every corner, in the end Al Habsi nabbed top spot by a mere 0.078 of a second from Connor.

Ali Al Shamsi was promoted to third after Georgie Zouein received a penalty for ‘advantage by contact’ which demoted him to fourth, with Fahad Al Khaled in fifth and Gaia Eichenberger sixth.

Kartdrome’s David Bright summed up the two days of action, “We were pleased to host two days of intense UAE Rotax MAX Challenge racing at our venue. Things ran smoothly thanks to the efforts of Kartdrome team working with the officials from Al Ain Raceway Kart Club.

photo caption:    Round 4 trophy winners on the Kartdrome podium

“Our organisations share the same goal to develop kart racing in the UAE, and these two rounds at the Kartdrome were a good advertisement for the sport.”

The next round of the 2015-2016 UAE Rotax MAX Challenge takes place in Al Ain on 4 December, with Kartdrome set for another double header on the weekend of 12-13 February 2016.

- Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photos


22.11.2015 / MaP

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