UAE: Al-Thani and Grogor dominate SR8 class as new names enter SR3 Radical Winter Cup
Jan 25th, 2013 – Round four of the Radical Winter Cup run by AUH Motorsports and held at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit saw some new names fill the podium in the SR3 class while SR8 stalwarts AbdulRahman Al-Thani and Jordon Grogor maintained their dominance at the head of the field.
New names including Greg Smith from Australia, local duo Ramez Azzam and Zaamin Jaffer as well as UK champions Tony Wells and James Littlejohn boosted the grid to one of the biggest seen so far this season.
Heavy fog delayed the start to qualifying by half an hour but once the lights went green it was Al-Thani and Grogor who set the pace with a 59.027 second lap that was good enough for pole by .024 of a second from Wells and Littlejohn.
The SR3 category saw Jaffer claim pole in his first drive of a Radical with 1:02.246 that was good enough for fifth outright.
As the lights went out for Race One, Al-Thani held off a determined charge Tony Wells who was driving solo and local driver Bassam Kronfli.
The hard luck story of the race however was with Tom Jordan and Alex Kapadia who were forced to take a drive though penalty towards the end of the race but still managed to hold onto a podium position in the SR3 class.
Kronfli hung on to second outright from Wells in their SR8s while debutants Azzam and Jaffer took a well deserved class win from a great drive put in by Saudi’s Mohammed Jawa and the Mark Jordan, Alex Kapadia duo.
“We came here to see how we’d go against the established competition so to come away with the win was perfect,” Azzam said.
Trouble struck the Number 1 SR8 of Jordan/Al-Thani for Race Two qualifying forcing them to sit it out and start off the rear of the grid. This allowed Wells and Littlejohn to take pole from Kronfli while Jaffer put in another good lap to take the SR3 pole from Kapadia and Raed Abu Zenedah.
As the lights went out, all eyes were on Grogor who started from last place. He charged through the field into turn one and not surprisingly got caught up with the front-runners and damaging his bodywork.
Kronfli retired with gearbox trouble on lap three which gave Wells a clear run until the mandatory pit stop where he swapped drivers with Littlejohn only to have gear selector troubles also strike. The pit stop cost the team any chance of victory eventually finishing 11th.
Grogor drove a superb race to hand over to Al-Thani in the lead which the Qatari driver held until the chequered flag.
The battle for SR3 honours was again intense but this time went to Jordan and Kapadia from Jawa with Azzam and Jaffer in third.
“That was tough but fun,” Grogor said afterwards.
“The SR3s were actually quicker through the tight stuff, but starting from the back – and with so little chances to overtake here – I had to just dive in there at turn one and give it my best,” he said.
Round five is February 22 at the Dubai Autodrome.