Rose battles to famous victory as Dubai O-Plate serves up thrilling Kartdrome action

Rose battles to famous victory as Dubai O-Plate serves up thrilling Kartdrome action

24.01.2016: Chohan earns factory drive with Junior Max victory; Babington dominates Open class

Chohan earns factory drive with Junior Max victory;  Babington dominates Open class

 Fraser Rose leads Pascal Pook in the 2016 O-Plate Max Final

The 2016 Dubai O-Plate produced some of the closest racing seen at the Kartdrome, as a record field of drivers from the UAE, the region and Europe battled it out at the weekend for the prestigious title, with big prizes on offer for the winners.

With the opening day bringing qualifying sessions and four heats for all classes - Bambinos, Micro Max, Mini Max, Junior Max, Max, DD2 and the Open Class - the results were tallied up to determine the starting positions for Saturday’s Pre-Finals and the Finals.

The big winner on the day was Fraser Rose who took top honours in the premier Max Class after an intense duel with Pasqual Pook and Abdullah Al Rawahi. There was little to separate the trio throughout the two days of action which set the scene for a nail biting finale.

In the end Rose did enough to hang on to take a famous victory and the prestigious Dubai O-Plate title, with Pook second and Al Rawahi paying for a daring last ditch attack and dropping to fourth as Jakob Robinson seized third with the finish line in sight.

With victory Rose took home one of biggest prizes of the day, including a Birel Art chassis and a test with Formula Gulf 1000, which Pook also earned for his efforts.

 Fraser Rose (345) crosses the line ahead of Pascal Pook in the 2016 O-Plate Max Final

Rose said, “It was a really tough final race. Pascal and I were close all day. Starting from pole I managed to get away well, but a few laps in Pascal got past me but I kept behind him and we swapped positions.

“I was leading into the last lap, but he got me into Turn 1 and he defended valiantly throughout the lap. On the final back straight I saw a kart width and I went for it and made it work. This is a great race to win! Big thanks to Sodi Kart Middle East, TAG Heuer, and ENOC for all their support.”

Throughout day one of the Junior Max action, Taymour Kermanshahchi set himself up as the man to beat by winning all four heats. However, on Finals day Tehmur Chohan rose to the occasion to take a well calculated win in the Pre-Final, a mere 0.088 of a second over second placed Khalid Al Wahaibi, with Kermanshahchi.

As expected Chohan and Kermanshahchi set the pace, running in tandem as they pulled away from the field. By mid-race, Chohan began to edge away, delivering a mature and faultless performance to take victory by 2.8 seconds, earning a factory drive at the 2016 World CIK Championships with Energy Corse, courtesy of Energy Team UAE.

Kermanshahchi was second, ahead of Lucas Petersson, with Al Wahaibi, Nicolas Dimitriou and Abu Dhabi schoolgirl Amna Al Qubaisi completing the top six.

Sean Babington was untouchable in the Open Class, winning the final by a massive margin over Ali Al Najjar in second overall, Hussain Umid Ali third, while Maz Nawaz, Marwan Abdulla Al Hamoudi and Mohammed Al Ghurair rounding out the top six.

Al Najjar's second place overall was enough for him to take top prize in the IAME Class.

Sanad Al Rawahi took top honours with a comfortable win the DD2 Class Final ahead of Kevin Day in second, doing enough to also claim the DD2 Masters title ahead of Anthony Hogg in third.

Shihab Al Habsi won the Mini Max Final by a quarter of a second over Hamda Al Qubaisi, with Liam Crystal in third place, followed by Lachlan Robinson, Ziggy Kermanshahchi and Gaia Eichenberger.

Nadim Khneisser surprised the karting community as he overcame the biggest field of the weekend to claim a richly deserved victory in the Micro Max Class.

Young visiting Frenchman Marcus Amand chased hard to claim second place, with British schoolboy Maxwell Dodds emerging third after a race long battle with Diaraf Keinde. Finn Farrell-Morton and Mohamed Al Habsi completed the top six.

 Drivers who competed in the 2016 O-Plate weekend at the Kartdrome

Rashid Al Dhaheri won his third successive O-Plate after topping the scoring in the Bambino Class to claim the top prize of a Micro Max level kart presented by Energy Team UAE. Harry Hannam ran a close second ahead of Abdul Al Habsi.

Kartdrome's David Bright said: “It was a tough two days of racing, with some of the best, hardest, cleanest and closest racing ever witnessed at the Kartdrome. It was really positive to see the junior categories; such as Bambino and micro, booming in grid numbers.

“A big thanks goes out to all the officials and unsung heroes behind the scenes who contribute to the success of this event. For sure there are some things that need to be looked into and analysed. But we hope to improve on these and make the 2017 even better.”

Sponsorship and prizes were provided by Mick Panigada and Kevin Day of Energy Kart, Sanad Shannak and Suleiman Al Rawahi from Birel Art, GulfSport's Barry Hope and Martin Hope, and Guy Sheffield and Tony Kekati from Al Ain Raceway.

 2016 O-Plate Champions: Sanad Al Rawahi (DD2), Shihab Al Habsi (Mini Max), Kevin Day (DD2 Masters), Fraser Rose (Max), Tehmur Chohan (Junior Max), Nadim Khneisser (Micro Max) and Ali Al Najjar (IAME)

Tony Lewis, Total Communications Dubai - also photos


24.01.2016 / MaP

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