UAE: Double wins for Bintouq in Formula Gulf at Dubai Autodrome
Sat, 15th Feb, 2014 – Formula Gulf 1000 – With Yas Marina Circuit supported driver Saeed Bintouq and 15 year old U18 karting champion Tom Bale lapping regularly within three hundredths of a second of each other, the battle for Round 9 on Dubai Autodromes GP Circuit, was almost bound to end in tears!
Bintouq did a great job in the morning qualifying session to take pole by just .038 of a second from Bale and Trinidad & Tobago rally champion Keverne McShine.
Ex Formula Ford racer Joel Young was getting familiar with a race car with downforce. Kuwait’s Adnan Bahrami was busy learning the 16 corners of the very technical GP Circuit and Saudi driver Abdullah Kabbani only got one lap having been delayed on his early morning flight from Jeddah. GulfSport therefore gave him some extra tuition on their high-tech FG1000 simulator to get him up to speed on a circuit he had not even tested on.
Round 9 turned out to be a great race, especially exciting at the front as Bintouq took advantage of pole position to lead the race with Bale hot on his heels followed a little way back by McShine. However on the lap 8, with Bintouq in the lead down the back straight, Bale drafted past Bintouq which was followed by a return pass by Bintouq which then saw both drivers going for the same part of the track resulting in contact. Bale came off worst with his front wing wedged firmly under his car which made it undriveable. His wayward car had the effect of making life extremely difficult for McShine who slowed to avoid contact which made him a target for Young and Kabbani. But it was the young Saudi driver Kabbani who took the advantage and overtook two cars to move into second place followed by newcomer Young. Bale pulled into the pits and retirement as Bintouq took the checkered flag and maximum points.
Round 10, Saturday 15th at 2pm – Given the contact between Tom Bale and Saeed Bintouq that determined the outcome of round 9 in Bintouq’s favour, round 10 was always going to be a nail biter!
Especially as they tend to drive almost identical lap times. Round 10 got underway with Emirati Bintouq on pole and Saudi’s fastest young racer Abdullah Kabbani next to him on the front row. But it was the Emirati who managed to get to turn 1 first followed closely by the Saudi driver with Trinidad & Tobago’s Keverne McShine hot on their heels. Meanwhile U18 CIK World Karting Championship event winner Tom Bale, who started the race in last position as a result of the DNF in the previous race, was able to move quickly through through the pack into P3 and set off after Kabbani.
The mid-race order settled down with Bintouq holding a comfortable 6 second lead until lap 7 when Bale started to lap faster than Bintouq. But there was a much closer battle behind them. Both newcomer Joel Young and Kuwait’s Adnan Bahrami had spent time on GulfSport’s simulator which features the Dubai Autodrome’s tricky 5.4kms GP circuit and the FG11 single seater in the soon to be released ProjectCARS race sim. Throughout the race Joel Young and Keverne McShine enjoyed traded places lap after lap until the penultimate lap when they tagged at the bowl and Joel’s car spun and stalled in the middle of the track bringing out the red flag. With the result taken from the end of the previous lap it was another fine win for Bintouq followed by Bale, Kabbani, McShine, Bahrami and a DNF for Young. Rounds 11 & 12 take place in Dubai on 6th and 7th March.
Report submitted by GulfSport Racing