December 14, 2012, Rd 3, Race 2 report: Dubai Autodrome
All the news surrounding the third round of the Radical Winter Cup run by AUH Motorsports at the Dubai Autodrome this weekend centred on 17-year old sensation, Edward Jones.
Not part of the full series, Jones stepped into the Dragon Racing SR8 as a one-off for the Dubai Motorsport Festival and dominated the weekend by claiming pole position and a win in today’s 45-minute race which he lead from start to finish.
Today’s results mimicked yesterday’s similar performance as the former karter quickly adapted to the powerful V8 sports prototype.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Everything went well from the car preparation, to qualifying and the race. Just perfect,” Jones said.
The day began well for the teen after he set pole with a blisteringly quick 1:56.592 seconds that was a full two seconds faster than his nearest competitor.
With four and half minutes remaining, Jones confidently parked the car and eventually took pole by 1.038 seconds from Bassam Kronfli and the pairing of AbdulRahman Al-Thani from Qatar and South African, Jordon Grogor in third.
The highly competitive SR3 class for four-cylinder cars delivered another titanic battle between the Tarek Elgammal / Hassan Dargahi duo and GR8 Racing’s Mohammed Jawa from Saudi Arabia. SR3 pole this time went to Jawa with 2:04.141 which was good enough for fifth outright.
Upon the start of the formation lap, Al-Thani was slow to move away from his third place start and incurred a 30-second penalty which was added to his race time. Fortunately for the defending champs they had a big enough buffer over P5 to keep their eventual fourth place finish.
Jones got the hole shot from Kronfli to lead through turn one while SR3 championship leader Dargahi dropped back two places to P8 by the end of the opening lap.
Battles developed through the pack with Emal Racing’s Graeme Hannah and Kurdish driver Aschkan Abdul-Malek swapping places for the minor positions while a similar duel between the Shell Racing SR3 of Amro Al Hammad and the Al Nusif brothers resulted in a spin for the hard charging Kuwaiti brothers.
By lap three, race leader Jones had built a 7.5 second buffer to Kronfli while Amro had climbed into P8 with Abdul Malek relegating Hannah to 10th.
SR3 pole sitter Mohammed Jawa stopped on the track mid way through the race with gear selector trouble giving the Dargahi/Elgammal car an easier job of maintaining the class lead.
With the window for compulsory pit stops opening on lap 11, SR3 driver Maurice Faber passed Elgammal in the pits due partly to the Australian’s longer regulated stop. His SR3 lead however was short-lived as Elgammal regained the place on track.
Hard luck story of the day went to Emal’s Mark Hannah who narrowly missed the pit stop window and was forced to take a drive-through penalty in the final minutes of the race.
At the chequered flag, Jones took the win by 32.7 seconds from Kronfli and the pairing of Charlie Kemp and Richard Sykes in the HHC Motorsports SR8 in third.
SR3 laurels went to Dargahi and Elgammal in fifth outright from driver of the day, Faber in sixth and Al Hammad third in class and seventh outright.
“We knew we were going to have a tough race against Jawa but regardless, everything went well with our car and it was great to take another class win,” Dargahi said afterwards.
Round 3, Race 2 Results:
1/ Edward Jones (SR8)
2/ Bassam Kronfli (SR8)
3/ Richard Sykes / Charlie Kemp (SR8)
1/ Hassan Dargahi / Tarek Elgammal (5th outright)
2/ Maurice Faber (6th outright)
3/ Amro Al Hammad (7th outright)
Championship Points after three rounds:
Bassam Kronfli 135
AbdulRahman Al Thani 82
Jordon Grogor 52
Hassan Dargahi / Tarek Elgammal 124
Mohammed Jawa 54
Amro Al Hammad 51
HHC Motorsports 84
Bassam Kronfli 76
AUH Motorsports 62
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