Karting: Rami Azzam is the 2014 Ramadan Challenge Champion at Dubai Autodrome

Karting: Rami Azzam is the 2014 Ramadan Challenge Champion at Dubai Autodrome


Winners on the night (L to R) Mohammed Al Mutawaa best Emirati driver in the series, Rami Azzam 2014 Ramadan Challenge champion and Sam Zian final round winner at the Kartdrome - Image Darren Rycroft

22 July 2014-A big field of 48 drivers turned up to contest the championship deciding final round of the 2014 SWS Ramadan Challenge at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday, and on a hot night Sam Zian was best of the best while Rami Azzam wrapped up the prestigious 2014 title.

Zian was in good form all night and it was clear he had set his sights on bagging a win, which had eluded him in the first three rounds despite constantly mixing with the pace setters. His victory was emphatic as he crossed the finish line over seven seconds ahead of his closest rival.

Next up was Hussain Umid Ali who spent the race battling with championship contender Mohammed Al Mutawaa. There was little to separate the pair, but Umid Ali had the edge and took second place with Al Mutawaa in his slipstream finishing third.

Fourth over the line was Rami Azzam, who started the evening top of the championship standings, and his strategy was to do enough to bag the required points to clinch the title, even if this meant sacrificing his chances of victory on the night. With all to lose in the final he drove a well calculated and steady race, needing only to finish behind Al Mutawaa to claim the championship – which he did and the prestige of being 2014 SWS Ramadan Challenge Champion was his at the end of the night.

Azzam, who was clearly happy with his achievment, said: “It is an honour to win the Ramadan Challenge, my first time to win this competition. And the fact that I managed to beat a very strong field of drivers, many who are champions in their own right, makes it very special.”

Behind Azzam, Maz Nawaz drove a storming race after having to qualify for the final by racing in the Super Final where he finished second. Thus from down the grid he battled past some of the toughest SWS karting campaigners to take fifth place, setting the fastest lap in the process, and making claim to the drive of the night.

Ali Al Mansoori was a title contender before Round 4, but he was on the wrong side of the track battles in the heat races which compromised his starting position, but nevertheless he finished sixth, ahead of George Gibson in seventh, Anas Al Halabi eighth, Nacho Girona ninth and Marwan Al Hamoudi rounding out the top ten.

Arnaud Bouf won the Master category on the night, with Carsten Winter second and Bruno de Champris third. Second place was enough for Winter to take home the 2014 Ramadan Challenge Master title.

For Azzam the win means he is recipient of a fully paid race day programme in the UAE Rotax Max Championship, at the Kartdrome, with the illustrious Energy Kart Racing Team, while Al Mutawaa scooped a similar prize with the prestigious UAE Tony Kart outfit for being the best place Emirati driver.

Kartdrome Manager Ryan Trutch summed up the series, “Congratulations to Rami Azzam and Mohammed Al Mutawaa for their achievement, but really all drivers who contested the 2014 Ramadan Challenge deserve a big round of applause for this was a challenging series, tough conditions and very good fields. Last but by no means least thank you to Energy UAE Kart Team and Tony Kart Racing Team UAE for great prizes.”

Assistant Kartdrome Manager David added, “The final race night of the 2014 Ramadan Challenge was the highlight of the four races, driving was of the highest order and inevitably the drivers enjoyed the competition. Rami Azzam is a worthy champion and he beat some of the best leisure karters in the region.”

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