Dubai: 16yr old Tejas Hirani takes stunning double Formula Gulf victory at Dubai Autodrome
Dubai, Dec 6th, 2014 – 16 year old Kenyan driver Tejas Hirani (Rob’s Magic) put on a stunning performance at the Dubai Autodrome to take Pole Position and win Rounds 3 and 4. His second race lap time of 2:01.687 was only bettered by one car all weekend; Michael Ammermueller’s outrageous twin-turbo 4.0 litre 600bhp Bentley GT3.
The event was run on the Grand Prix Circuit and included races for the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup, the Radical Middle East Cup, the NGK Racing Series and the UAE Sportbike Championship.
Hirani now has a championship points lead of just eight points from 15 year old Edi Haxhiu who did a great job this weekend to claim two second place trophies and set fastest lap in race one despite having a coming together with Kuwaiti racer Ahmed Al Ghanim on the first lap when both young racers headed for the same piece of tarmac in Turn 10.
Deemed to be a ‘racing incident’ by the Stewards of the Meeting, which implies that neither driver was 100% at fault, it was Al Ghanim who came off worst as he suffered an unfortunate DNF (did not finish) after having claimed a 3rd place trophy for a strong drive in Round 3. Saudi driver Mashur Bal Hejaila, who qualified on the second row of the grid with Al Ghanim found himself again side by side with Al Ghanim going through Turn 14 but ended up on the dusty side of the track and could not avoid a spin and a disappointing DNF.
However, the ever upbeat Bal Hejaila put this mishap behind him as he went on to take a very well earned 3rd place Trophy in race two. Another promising Kuwaiti driver, Yousuf Al Bader put in an impressively consistent performance qualifying in 5th, taking 4th in the first race and 5th in the second scoring useful championship points.
Al Faisal Al Zubair, a talented 16 year old Rotax kart racer who makes the trip up from Muscat to benefit from working with championship driver coach Andy Pardoe suffered a minor setback in testing when the car got away from him on cold tyres on an out lap, something that all racing drivers have to learn to deal with. So having lost one important test session while the GulfSport crew repaired the car, he was forced to play catch-up all weekend, but managed to take a 5th and then a 4th place after passing Al Bader on the last lap of the second race with a lap that was a full two and a half seconds faster than his best qualifying lap!
Ex-motorcycle racer Neil Greer had a great time getting to grips with his slicks and wings FG11 race car electing to work with used tyres over the course of the weekend in order to heighten the experience of the car moving around more than usual. Despite balancing the benefit against the risks, he was not the slowest driver in qualifying and managed to finish both races quite successfully. Rounds 5 & 6 will take place January 23rd on the International Circuit in Dubai. The Formula Gulf Championship prize includes an F3 test in Valencia with Campos Racing, one of the sponsors of this unique driver development series. Formula Gulf 1000 is supported by Gulf Oil, Campos Racing, Towers Rotana and the Strata Group.
Round 3: 1st – Hirani 2nd – Haxhiu 3rd – Al Ghanim
Round 4: 1st – Hirani 2nd – Haxhiu 3rd – Bal Hejaila