Karting: Dubai Falcon team wins Motorcity 12 Hours
28 May 2011- Dubai Falcon Racing Team led by Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, including with ace kart drivers Mohammed Al Mutawaa, Saeed Al Mehairi, Fabienne Lanz, and managed by Mike Wilkes took top honours at the end of the grueling Motorcity 12 Hours at Dubai Kartdrome today (Saturday, 28 May). It was the second round of four rounds counting towards the 2011 Motorcity Endurance Championship.
Having played second fiddle for over a year to the previously dominant Batelco team, the Dubai Falcons scored a well deserved victory, notching up 569 laps and winning by a margin of five laps.
The key to their victory was the early relentless pace set by Sheikh Hasher right from the start, followed by similarly error free stints and extremely fast stints by Lanz, Al Mutawaa and Al Mehairi. All this coupled to an error free strategy orchestrated by Wilkes who said afterwards,
“That was one of our strongest showings. Everything fell into place and we made no mistakes. I have managed winning teams in the past, but this one is extremely strong and could be among the best. It is good to be on the top step of the podium again.”
Probably the biggest surprise to all – except themselves perhaps – was the impressive showing of Publicis Groupe Racing comprising: Ronald Zouein, Rayan Karaky, Sunny Deo, Anjum Shaikh, Rafael Augusto, Nihal Salim, Sebastian Puhze and Samer Lahoud.
The squad, made up of Publicis Groupe workers, not only won the hotly contested Corporate category, but also finished second overall – which is the highest placing for a corporate team in the history of the Endurance Challenge at Dubai Kartdrome.
The achievement was immense considering the stiff competition and the extreme conditions they overcame. The team summed up their emotions on Facebook:
“Only one thing to say… Don’t stop believing! From P12 to P1 Corporate and P2 Professional Ranking. This is what a team is all about!”
Third place overall went to Ocean Rubber Racing who chased hard all night long and finishing on the same lap as Publicis Groupe.
It was disappointment for reigning champions Batelco who have dominated endurance races at the Kartdrome for almost two years. They were compromised by a series of early penalties and issues with their kart. They struggled to recover thereafter, but nevertheless finished fourth overall.
Another big surprise was fifth place overall for the MediaBoltz team, captained by Phil Tromans of Evo magazine and comprising of media workers from the UAE. They scored their highest finish ever in the competition. Autocar editor Gautam Sharma, who set the third fastest lap time of the race, said,
“The weight equalisation has been a key factor in balancing out the perfomance. Heavier drivers are less penalised and this I believe contributed to our good result. It was also a good team effort.”
Sixth overall and second in the Corporate category were CG Racing – winners in round one – battled all 12 hours with arch rivals OMD Racing who were third in the Corporate ranking and eighth overall.
Other awards went to the P918 team who scooped the Fair Play Award for their spirit and sportsmanship, while the UAE Masters were the best placed new team.
Round three of the 2011 Motorcity Endurance Championship takes place on 7/8 October with another 12 hours race at the Kartdrome.