Dubai: Season finale this weekend will crown the Champions at Dubai Autodrome
8 April 2014-Dubai Autodrome hosts the final UAE national race day of the 2013-2014 season on Friday, 11 April, on a day when champions will be crowned.
In the NGK Racing Series two races remain and although Costas Papantonis has dominated Class 1 in his Gulf Petrochem SEA, the focus is on Class 2 where the last two races on the final day will decided the champion.
Honda driver Jonathan Mullan tops the standings with 222 points, ahead of fellow Honda driver Rupesh Channake who is 14 points adrift and Gulf Petrochem Renault driver Alexandros Annivas 20 points off top spot.
The trio are all capable of taking the big prize, as two worst scores are dropped in the championship points table and when the maths is done the title looks set to be decided in the two final races of the championship which take place on the day.
In the race-within-a-race Clio Cup Annivas has already bagged the title, but will nevertheless have to contend with the likes of Simon Dennis and Peter Englandwho will want to end their season with a flourish .
Speaking after a shock Class 2 win at Yas Marina last time out, Annivas said, “I am behind on points but when you drop scores it is looking very possible. Last year it was decided on the last corner of the last lap of the last race, this year I have a feeling the same will happen. I am the underdog so really not much to lose, it’s motor racing and anything can happen.”
Also to be decided on the day is the coveted UAE Sportbike Championship where Liberty Kawasaki rider Abdulaziz Binladen head into the final two races with 250 points, with reigning champion Mahmoud Tannir 20 points adrift, but with dropped scores that is narrowed down to 8 points.
It will be a tough ask for Tannir to retain his crown as Binladen has been on a hot streak all year winning 12 of 13 races – although the first two wins will not count as he was not registered for the championship at the time – nevertheless his pace and consistency has been relentless in the colours of the Saudi Falcons.
Tannir on the other hand switched from Triumph to Honda after mid-season, but has simply not been able to seriously challenge Binladen this season. However the Dubai based Lebanese rider is not one to shy off a challenge and goes into the final day determined to fight to the very last lap.
He said ahead of the season finale, “Nothing is over yet, and the team will be going all out to win the last two races and retain their title next time out, stay tuned.”
Yamaha rider Michael Collins has already bagged the coveted Rookie Cup title and will be looking to end the season with a flourish.
Track action on Friday starts with qualifying for the UAE Sportbikes at 09:50 am, with NGK racing Series scheduled for 10:15 am. The first of two UAE Sportbike races takes place at 11:00, with the first NGK Racing Series race to be flagged off at 11:45 am. Prize giving to honour the race winners and champions will take place immediately after the final race at around 16:00 pm.
Entry for spectators on the day is free with access to paddock area and grandstands.