Atef Al Barwani was crowned 2015 SWS Ramadan Challenge Champion after a hot night of racing at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday (13 July 2015), where he had to graft hard to clinch the coveted title from F3 Racing teammate Ali Al Mansoori.
Although four drivers arrived at the finale of the four race series capable of winning the title, it was really all about Al Barwani and Al Mansoori, as a mere three points separated the pair ahead of the final evening of action.
After four heats with 44 drivers battling it out for 24 places in the Super Final, on the short and fast Speedway Circuit configuration, both title protagonists made it through, as the final race of the series featured the cream of SWS kart drivers and by no means were the title chasing pair going to have it all their own way.
In the final, and also at the sharp end of proceedings throughout the night, were Rami Azzam, Piers Pakenham-Walsh, Alexandre Silanine and Hussein Umid Ali.
From the start the above-mentioned quartet set the pace, with Al Barwani and Al Mansoori also in the mix. Early on there was little to separate the leaders, with the lead changing regularly. But around the half-way mark it was Azzam who started to edge away from the pack and stayed in front to take victory by almost four seconds.
Silanine was runner-up by quarter of a second from Pakenham-Walsh, but all eyes were on the title battle as Al Mansoori crossed the line in fourth, Umid Ali fifth and Al Barwani sixth.
Thus on the night Al Barwani bagged 39 points, three less than Al Mansoori which tied the pair on 169 points, but Al Barwani won the tie-breaker by virtue of higher finishes in previous rounds which was just enough to earn him the title after the four rounds – which is as close as it gets!
Arnaud Bouf arrived at the final with an 11 points lead over his closest rival in the SWS Masters Class, and finished eighth overall on the night, top scoring in the Masters Class to seal the title ahead of second placed Carsten Winter and Adrian Jones in third.
Al Barwani, the 2015 SWS Ramadan Challenge Champion said afterwards: “Finally its here after four years of waiting. This title has eluded me and it is one I have always wanted to win as it is a special time of the year for me. I dedicate the title to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai who has made F3 Racing possible. I hope it’s the first of many for my team and I.”
Kartdrome’s David Bright commented: “Once again the SWS drivers have raised the bar and delivered one of the toughest and hardest fought championships we have had here at the Kartdrome. We are proud to have hosted such talented and committed sponsors and drivers who have made our SWS racing series such a success.”
“To Atef Al Barwani a big congratulations on becoming champion, he is a great role model and popular with all his on track rivals. A big thank you to our prize sponsors Energy Kart Dubai and TonyKart UAE who have shown their commitment to UAE karting,” concluded Bright.
For their efforts in the 2015 SWS Ramadan Challenge, Al Barwani walked away with a fully funded UAE Rotax Max race meeting with Energy Kart Dubai for winning the title and Al Mansoori earned a fully funded UAE Rotax Max race meeting with TonyKart UAE.
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