Dubai: Two titles up for grabs – Class 2 Touring Car Championship and Clio Cup – in season finale at Dubai Autodrome
Apr, 18th 2013 -It does not often happen in any form of motorsport that on the final day, of a 16 round championship, that two title contenders are separated by a single point. Well this year the NGK Racing Series is going down to the wire in both Class 2 and the Clio Cup.
Adding even more spice to the contest for the title is the fact that the last two rounds, on Friday, 19 April, at Dubai Autodrome’s Club Circuit, there will double points up for grabs in each race, making that 80 points on the line in the two races on the day.
With Costas Papantonis unchallenged in Class 1 at the wheel of his Gulf Petrochem Seat, the focus is on Class 2 and the Clio Cup.
Alexandros Annivas tops the Class 2 standings with 224 points in his Gulf Petrochem Renault Clio, one point ahead of arch rival for the title Ramzi Moutran in the Duel Racing Renault Clio. On track the pair have been inseparable and much of the same is expected on the final day.
Rupesh Channake started the season with six wins in a row, but five successive rounds of not scoring points hurt his title campaign, but a resurgence in recent rounds, resulted in a hat-trick of wins has put the Lap57 Honda driver back in contention, albeit a long shot as he lies third with 182 points – however the double points score could play into his hands.
Annivas and Moutran are also the main contenders for top prize in the Clio Cup – championship within a championship – Annivas leads the title chase by a mere six points and has eight wins to his credit with Moutran a six times winner this season. One of these two will leave Dubai Autodrome on Friday night as the Clio Cup champion.
Also in action on the day, and possibly even having a say in where the championship ends up are the likes of Jonathan Mullan in his Honda Integra in Class 1, while the likes of Guillaume Simonnet and Will Morrision will be the proverbial ‘cats among the pigeons’ in the Clio Cup races.
Good news for the finale is that SVDP racing is entering two cars. The former Halfords BTCC Honda from the 2005 season which will be driven by team boss Spencer Vanderpal and the team’s chief mechanic Sam North will take to the cockpit of the team’s Dunlop 24 Hours class winning BMW 120D.
North said ahead of his debut, “After numerous track days, working as part of the SVDP Racing pit team for the past year and a lifelong obsession with race cars, it’s a mixture of excitement and nerves to be fulfilling a childhood dream to be out there on the grid.”
Friday schedule will feature two races for the MotorCity UAE Sportbikes, two races for NGK Series Racing featuring UAE Touring Cars and the Clio Cup, with Extreme Super Lap on the bill for the first time at Dubai Autodrome.
Entry to the circuit is free on the day until 5pm with access to the pit garages allowing fans close up access to riders and drivers, Refreshments will be available in the paddock’s PitStop lounge and viewing from the main grandstand or the new grandstand overlooking the action-packed bowl area of the Club Circuit.
At 6pm ‘The Chase’ returns to Dubai Autodrome and includes: Drag Racing, Drifting, Auto X, Bike Stunt Show, Car Tuning Show, Car Audio Contest, Remote Control Drift, Grafitti artists display, Live Bands, DJ’s, food and beverages. Entry fee of AED 40 will be charged on the night.