UAE National Racing: Cytech UAE GT Championship showdown expected in gripping title decider at Yas Marina Circuit

MSW in Class GTB will be pushing hard this weekend - Image copyright_Darren Rycroft anysportphotos.com

21 March 2011 – Yas Marina Circuit is the setting for one of the most crucial days of action in the UAE national motorsport calendar as a host of titles are sure to be settled on the weekend which sees Cytech UAE GT, Total UAE Touring Cars and UAE Sportcars on the support bill for the first round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Yas Marina, on 25 and 26 March in Abu Dhabi.

House of Portier Corvette driver Karim Al Azhari (House of Portier Corvette) is looking to notch up his seventh UAE national racing title Image copyright_Darren Rycroft anysportphotos.com

Cytech UAE GT Championship: Triple title decider

The Yas Marina round of the Cytech UAE GT Championship is the final one of the season for the country’s premier road racing series and three champions will be crowned at the end of the day.

The House of Portier Corvette driver Karim Al Azhari (House of Portier Corvette) is looking to notch up his seventh UAE national racing title, making him by far the most successful driver in local road racing. Al Azhari will be sharing duties with French ace Fabien Giroix in the GTA class.

Looking to nab his first ever UAE championship title is Emirati teenager Mohammed Al Mutawaa (House of Portier Corvette) who lines up with young Czech driver Jiri Skula. Al Mutawaa faces a stern challenger from Jon Simmonds who has teamed UK with UK GT regular Phil Quaife (MSW Porsche), each driver has to win on the day to clinch the GTB Class title. Al Mutawaa has five victories to his credit while Simmonds has two victories and four second places to his name. A case of the winner takes all. Watch this space…

Joe Ghanem will be looking to grab the GTC Class championship title, Image copyright_Darren Rycroft anysportphotos.com

The GTC Class has witnessed the closest racing and biggest fields. Four teams have won races so far this year and the last race at Yas Marina will see the highly coveted championship title decided and will be a contest between Joe Ghanem (Ginetta) and the pairing of Paul Denby/Harris Irfan (ARM Porsche) as early pace setter Robert Cregan (Maserati) is now campaigning abroad. Trying to predict the outcome is impossible as either could snatch victory, but they also face the likes of potential winners: Saad Salman (KTM X-Bow), Saeed Al Mehairi (Aston Martin) and Khaled Al Mudhaf (Ginetta).

UAE Touring Cars -Image copyright Darren Rycroft anysportphotos.com

Total UAE Touring Cars: Bumper to bumper action expected

Bumper to bumper action is part and parcel of the Total UAE Touring Car races, battleground of the country’s top tin top race drivers. The Yas Marina round is the penultimate one of the series and last chance for drivers to challenge the pace setters in the two main classes.

Emirati ace Khalid Bin Hadher (Seat) has been the man to beat all season in Class 1 of the series, having raised his game considerably to notch up nine wins out of twelve is a remarkable record for one season. His closest challenger Andre Ramdhanny (MSW Seat) needs to win all four remaining races, including the two this weekend at Yas Marina, to stay in the hunt.

Also capable of stealing a win, and yet to do so this year, is Nader Zuhour (Seat) who will be gunning to reverse a season that has been dogged by bad luck.

In Class 2 Umair Khan (Lap 57 Honda) is honing in on his second successive title and only four non-finishes will deny him. Whatever the case he has to contend with a horde of potential winners eager to dethrone him including the likes of Spencer Vanderpal (a2b Honda), Rupesh Channake (Honda), Oliver Grimm (NFS Renault) and Zlatko Mulabegovic (Honda) to name a few.

Whatever the case paint scraping, bumper to bumper racing is part of the package from the touring car brigade – they always deliver!

UAE Sportscars Jordon Grogor-Image copyright Darren Rycroft anysportphotos.com

UAE Sportscar Championship: Who can stop Grogor?

The Radical versus Juno battle in the UAE Sportscars Championship lasted a couple of rounds, but since then the championship has been dominated by Jordan Grogor (AUH Motorsports Radical) who does not even need to finish a race on the day to be crowned champion. The former European Radical Masters Champion will thus be adding this year’s title to the one he won last year. The likes of Sean Stevens, Carl Rolaston and Juma Al Dhaheri will be looking to spoil Jordan’s party by snatching a win on the day.

Free practice and qualifying for UAE national championships will take place on Friday (25 March) with races on Saturday (26 March) as part of a bumper weekend of top international and national racing at Yas Marina’s Corkscrew circuit.

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Series Overview – Cytech UAE GT Championship

The Cytech UAE GT Championship was devised along the lines of similar international GT series’, which caters for exotic supercars and should attract a spectacular grid. The series features three classes GTA, GTB and GTC. Because of the wide variety of cars, an objective classification has been chosen based on a weight to power ratio. Race days consist of a 60 minute enduro style race, with mandatory pit stop allowing for (optional) driver changes.

Series Overview – Total UAE Touring Car Championship

The Total UAE Touring Car concept provides some of the best racing seen on track. As from 2009/2010 season onwards the TOTAL UAE Touring Car Championship, became more aligned with global Touring Car racing trends, featuring 3 classes within the series. The season has witnessed the country’s top drivers doing battle for top honours. The advent of big team participation has taken the series to the next level of professionalism.

Series Overview – UAE Sportscar Championship
The UAE Sportscar Championship, also incorporating the Radical Cup, became part of the national series in 2010/2011. Radical and Juno have competed this year for the inaugural: UAE Sportscar Champion crown. Also part of the series is the Radical Cup – a defacto “championship within the championship” for drivers competing in Radical cars.

Report submitted by Dubai Autodrome

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