Karting: Rain stops action packed day at Dubai Kartdrome
21 January 2011 – The fourth round of the 2010/2011 combined DAMC Karting Championship and UAE Rotax Max Challenge at the Dubai Kartdrome came to a premature end when Clerk of the Course Sean Stevens deemed the conditions too dangerous and abandoned the event.
The decision was made shortly after 16.00pm when rain started to fall heavily on an already damp track. Only half the days scheduled races were completed and these all under wet conditions, which are alien to most UAE based drivers, which accounted for more spins and off-track excursions seen at the venue in a race day. Action packed would aptly describe each and every race!
Sheikh Khalid al Nahyan powered to victory in the DD2 Class heat race on a wet track, conditions he had never before encountered in his short karting career. He said afterwards, “I am a little nervous, but am really enjoying the challenge of driving in these conditions.”
Al Hamad Al Darmaki finished second and Hussain Umid Ali crossed the line in third.
In the DD2 Pre-Final race Ashraf Raza found some pace to take the chequered flag with Sheikh Al Nahyan coming home second ahead of Al Darmaki.
Edward Jones and Maurits Knopjes are proving to be the men to beat of the Rotax Max Seniors Class, even when it rains. The pair again slugged it out for top spot in Heat 1 with Jones snatching the win by 0.074seconds from Knopjes. Arnaud Bouf was third overall and best of the Max Masters Class which runs together with the Seniors Class.
In the Pre-Final, with the rain coming down harder than ever, Jones and Knopjes were out in front again with Arnaud third when the race was red flagged, bringing proceedings at the Kartdrome to an end.
Earlier in the day Piers Pakenham-Walsh won Heat 1 of the Junior Max Class from Cyrus Engineer and Patrick Hannah. In the Pre-Final Abdullah Al Rawahi bounced back from a DNF in the heat race to take victory by nearly 20 seconds from Pakenham-Walsh in second and Engineer in third.
In the Cadet Class Tom Bale won the Heat comfortably but was made to work hard for his win in the Pre-Final when Pascal Pook took the fight to the reigning champion. They crossed the line with Bale ahead by a mere 0.188 seconds from Pook, with Alain Bauwmans in third.
The SWS Star Cup attracted a big field with some quality drivers, including Cytech UAE GT House of Portier Corvette teenage driver Mohammed Al Mutawaa. The young Emirati was in his element, driving in the wet, and consequently took victory from second placed Ben Case, with Phill Tromans taking third.
Another top line-up of drivers made it onto the grid for the SWS RX250 Master Cup. Paul Chatenay and Saeed Al Mehairi were the pick of the bunch, with Chatenay taking victory by less than half a second from Mehairi. Oscar Slawinski was third ahead of Sam Zian, Haytham Ali and Rami Joudi rounding out the top six.
The next round of the combined DAMC Karting Championship and UAE Rotax Max Challenge at the Kartdrome takes place on 18 February.
Report by Dubai Autodrome.