Dubai, Dec 6th 2014 – The opening round of the 2014/15 Radical Middle East Cup with both races producing some exciting and close racing at last weekend’s Dubai Autodrome race weekend and with newcomers Sameh Al Qubaisi and Richard Ardolino doing particularly well. Following an aborted first start, race one saw European Radical series driver Tony Wells power his way through the field from a 7th place starting position to take line honours in the Supersports class.
Last season’s champion Amro Al Hamad driving with Ollie Smith were in second place closely followed by Al Qubaisi and Tarek Elgammal in third. 16 year old Tom Bale, racing in the Radicals for the first time, drove a very fast first stint matching the lap times of early pace setter and experienced driver Ollie Smith. Handing the car over to fellow first time racer Richard Ardolino, the car was brought home to a very respectable 5th place despite Ardolino having a major technical issue to contend with. Undoubtedly this pairing is a team to look out for in the future. In the Clubmans class, a fine drive by Spanish driver Rafael Unzurrunzaga saw him take first place followed by Mark Jordan and local UAE driver Ahmad Al Hammadi in second in the Emirates Global Aluminium car.
Mark Jordan said,” it is great to be back in the car after the summer layoff. Ahmed drove a great second stint to get us up into second place.” Race two saw the Lucco racing car driven by Ludovic Loffreda and Romain Lutter take the line honours despite having a drive through penalty for a pit stop infringement. After having establishing an early lead in the race, Tarek Elgammal handed over the car to Sameh Al Qubaisi who despite his relative lack of race experience drove superbly well to retain third place and finish just behind the second place Al Hamad/Smith duo. A steady drive by Arloid driver Sergey Shalunov was thwarted just before the pit stop window by the failure of a drive shaft which saw him retiring the car at the halfway point.
The debut round of Freshly Foods racing pairing of Jan Bjisterbosch and David Bright was disappointing for the drivers, following a first lap collision in race two with the Friends racing car driven by John Illingworth which was deemed to be a racing incident. Team leader Jan Bijsterbosch said “whilst the collision severely hampered our race, overall the event itself was a steep but thoroughly enjoyable learning curve for both of us. Let’s hope for better luck when we visit Qatar in the next round”
The EGA racing car driven by Ahmed Al Hammadi and Graeme Hannah was the dominant car in the Clubmans class in the second race with John Illingworth and Sean Stevens taking second place. Debut driver Catalin Voicu in his De Vere sponsored car and racing with Andy Marshall rounded off the Clubmans class podium with third position. Carl Rolaston, Radical race Series organiser said after the event, “this weekend has delivered some very close and competitive racing.
The new drivers that have joined the series have shown themselves to be at, or near the pace. As the season progresses I expect to see one or two of them up on the podium, and delivering some unexpected race results”.
The next round of the Radical Middle East Cup moves to Losail international circuit in Qatar and will be taking place on the 23rd and 24th January.
© 2014, CircuitProDigital. All rights reserved.