Formula Gulf 1000: Saeed Bintouq takes his first win on home ground while newcomer Weiron Tan shows fine pace
Abu Dhabi, Friday, 15th Feb 2013 – Rahul Mayer clearly intended to continue his winning ways by putting his car on pole just nine hundredths of a second faster than Nick Canal. SkyDive Dubai sponsored driver Haytham Sultan Al Ali was just four tenths behind with Natasha Seatter seemingly saving her tyres for the race by parking up after only 9 laps. Whilst the first six drivers were separated by less than 2 seconds, Weiron Tan was unable to show his speed due to a misfiring engine.
Race One got underway after sunset under the bright F1 lights, a first for National motor racing, with the front row pair of Mayer and Canal setting a blistering pace.
Disappointingly though for the Caterham F1 Driver Development team member Weiron Tan came into the pits with a persistent misfire that curtailed his race. On lap 3 in front of the enormous North Grandstands that overlook the hairpin, Mayer took his chance to take the lead as Canal left a small gap.
Contact was made which resulted in a DNF for Canal and Rahul recovering to set the fastest lap of the race as he tried in vain to get his position back. Their racing incident resulted in a new fight for the lead with victory for the Yas Marina Circuit supported Emirati driver, Saeed Bintouq.
Harsh Rajpal finished second just two seconds back with Haytham Sultan almost attached to the rear of his car.
Race Two finally gave Weiron Tan the opportunity to shine with his car now running perfectly, and starting from the back of the grid he quickly passed the pack to take the lead and victory with some stunning early laps. With Seatter’s engine now suffering a similar misfire to Weiron’s it was Rahul Mayer who gave chase and finished the race just 2.5 seconds behind Tan with Saeed Bintouq taking his second podium of the evening. Canal, who had to start at the back of the grid with Tan after his first race DNF showed great pace setting fastest lap of the race.
Four drivers taking wins this season demonstrates how effective this young driver development series is. GulfSport Racing’s Barry Hope said-
“This was an unusually difficult weekend but equally was a breakthrough event as we saw terrific National racing under the Yas lights, Weiron Tan was finally able to join us, we had SkyDive Dubai people here supporting one of our drivers and we saw both of our Emirati drivers share a podium. Better still, there were a lot of very proud parents with us this weekend”!
Next round of Formula Gulf 1000 is at Yas Marina Circuit on March 15th.