14 October 2011- On Friday (14 October 2011, Dubai Kartdrome hosted the second round of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge, also featuring Cadet Class races and SWS Sprint races on the day, with the biggest turn out of drivers in recent years which invariably led to top notch action with intrigue and battles throughout the day.
UAE Rotax Max Seniors: Sanad Al Rawahi untouchable
Young Omani driver Sanad Al Rawahi had a flawless and dominant day at the Kartdrome notching up pole position and three wins, including victory in the Final of the Rotax Max class. He was chased hard all day by Nikita Miliakov and Nikolaus Dedic who finished second and third in the final.
Al Rawahi said afterwards, “I had a very good day today. Our kart is new so we were getting used to it, but I am very happy to be able to win all three races including the final. I feel we can get even better as we play with setup. So all in all very happy with this win and the way things went today.”
In the race-within-a-race the Rotax Max Masters Class (for over 35 year olds) boasted a big field with several drivers capable of taking top honours. In the end it was Arnaud Bouf who powered to victory in the Final, ahead of Andrew Fuller who qualified in pole and won both the Heat race and the Pre-Final but had to be content with second place when it mattered. Paul Walsh was third.
UAE DD2 Class: Knopjes on top on home turf
Maurits Knopjes put disappointment of fourth place in Round 1, of the DD2 championship in Al Ain, behind him in the best way possible: winning on his home circuit against a formidable field.
Knopjes showed his intent early on by claiming pole position and winning the Heat race from Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum and Al Ain raceway Round 1 winner Mohammed Al Daheri in third. In the Pre-Final Oliver George took the win ahead of Knopjes and Hussain Umid Ali crossing the line in third.
However, Knopjes was in top form in the final taking an early lead which he maintained to the chequered flag, despite a strong challenge from George towards the end of the race. Al Dhaheri bounced back from a DNF in the Pre-Final to take third place.
Knopjes said of his win, “This was the second race of the season and it was great to put Al Ain result behind me in a field with top drivers like Hasher and Mohammed. It was great to battle such top drivers and it’s going to be a tough season but a fun season.”
UAE Rotax Max Juniors: Abdullah Al Rawahi triumphs over top class field
This year’s Junior class features several top drivers all capable and eager to win including three karting champions in the pre-teen categories.
In qualifying it was reigning Rotax Max Junior champion Abdullah Al Rawahi who set the pace, followed by junior class rookie Tom Bale who was second fastest and Cyrus Engineer third. Engineer drove a mature race to claim victory in the Heat, followed over the line by Bale and Al Rawahi.
In the Pre-Final a first lap accident saw Engineer eliminated from proceedings with Patrick Hannah and Cedric Dreyer also involved in the melee. Al Rawahi took victory followed by over the finish line by Bale and Ameer Hassan.
Al Rawahi did the business again in the Final with Bale again second and Engineer putting his dramatic accident behind him and taking third. Hassan and former champion Piers Pakenham-Walsh had a coming together in the Final which ended in instant retirement for Hassan and DQ for Pakenham-Walsh.
Al Rawahi said at the end of a tough day, “I want to thank my father and the whole team. They gave me a great kart and I am very happy to win here at the Kartdrome.”
Cadet Class: Kermanshahchi dominates
Taymour Kermanshahchi did not put a foot wrong all day in the Cadet Class, taking pole position and powering to three convincing victories in all three races including the Final, where he finished ahead of second placed Lucas Petersson and Tehmur Chohan third.
SWS Master Cup Sprint Races: Al Mehairi wins two with Al Mutawaa and Silanine taking a win apiece
Saeed Al Mehairi proved to be unbeatable in the SWS Sprint Cup for RX250 karts, taking wins in both sprint races. He was chased hard in the first race by Paul Chatenay who eventually finished second with Mohammed Al Mutawaa in third.
In the race two Al Mehairi pulled an early lead from the start but his kart started to suffer understeer which allowed, his Dubai Falcons team mate, Al Mutawaa to catch him and actually take the lead on the very last lap. Al Mehairi struck back in the final few corners to take a thrilling victory over Al Mutawaa.
Third place in race two to went Rami Joudi who earlier this season was the man to beat and was content to come from the back of the grid, after a problematic qualifying session, to take home silverware again and signaling a return to form pace setting.
Al Mutawaa was a busy chap on the day, running in both the Master Cup and Star Cup – literally jumping from one kart to another between races – and in the Star Cup took victory in the first race ahead of second placed Alexandre Silanine and Atef Al Barwani in third.
Silanine won race two with Ali Al Mansoori second. Al Mutawaa was third, which ensured that the teenager took home silverware from all four SWS Sprint races. A feat no other driver has achieved, over the past two years, since SWS Sprint racing has been held at the Kartdrome.
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