UAE: Preview UAE National Race Day at Dubai Autodrome on Friday 24 January
22 January 2013- It’s back to business for UAE national racing, the first race day of the new year and the half way mark of the 2013-2014 season, as action resumes at Dubai Autodrome on Friday, 24 January, where NGK Series, UAE Sportbikes and Formula Gulf 1000 will feature on the bill. Schedule HERE
Liberty Kawasaski rider Abdulaziz Binladen continues to be the man to beat this season in the premier 600 Class, having won five out of five races so far this season (Round 4 was cancelled due to rain) and his rivals will need to up the ante to prevent the Saudi ace from yet another clean sweep in the two races on the day.
Reigning champion Mahmoud Tannir had a problematic start to his season aboard his Triumph Daytona, but all indications are that he is getting back in the zone and will be targeting maximum points in both races.
Gautam Mayilvaganan leads the points standings – thanks to Binladen not scoring in the first two rounds – but is not expected to line up on the grid this weekend.
Capable of challenging for top honours is Joe Oxley on his Ducati, who will be keen to string together some strong results after crashing last time out.
Others to watch on the day include Omar Naji (Yamaha) and Jonathan Arnup (Triumph Daytona), while in the race within a race – the Rookie Cup – Michael Collins (Yamaha) is on a hot streak and will be looking to continue the trend.
The non-championship 1000 Class will feature the likes of Alan Boyter (Kawasaki), Nasser Al Shaiba (BMW) and Daimen van Blerk (Ducati) battling it out for the right to stand on the top step of the podium.
In the NGK Series Costas Papantonis, in the pace setting Class 1 Gulf Petrochem SEAT, faces stiff competition from a pair of K&K Racing Team BMWs in the hands of Czech drivers Petr Valek and Marce Kusin. Also stepping up into the Class 1 warzone is Guillaume Simonnet in his privately entered SEAT.
Class 2 will be a shootout between Renault and Honda, with Gulf Petrochem backed Alexandros Annivas and Simon Dennis lining up under the Renault banner, while Jonathan Mullan and Abdulhamid Al Awadhi will fly the Honda flag. Thrown into the mix is the ‘race within a race’ between the two Renault drivers battling it out for maximum points in the Clio Cup title chase.
Adding spice to proceedings will be the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai Pro-Am Class winning Dragon Racing Ferrari in the hands of team owner Leon Price.
Also on the bill will be two rounds counting towards the Formula Gulf 1000 championship, where top young drivers from the UAE and Asia will battle it out for victory in what is always a tight contest.
Action starts on the National track configuration, of Dubai Autodrome, with the first free practice sessions at 9:00 am, followed by the first qualifying at 10:10 am and the first race set to be flagged off at 11:05 am.
Entry for spectators on the day is free, with access to the grandstands and paddock. Refreshments will be available at the Pitstop Lounge on the first floor of the pit garage complex.