Dubai: 2016 Ramadan Karting Challenge sees Rami Azzam – Kamal Agha – Mohammed Ismail Ali crowned champions
A full night of spirited racing at Dubai Kartdrome in MotorCity saw Rami Azzam, Kamal Agha and Mohammed Ismail Ali crowned as champions in the thrilling final round of the 2016 Ramadan Challenge.
Most of the drama took place on the Outdoor Circuit of the Kartdrome, where the Senior Cup battle ran close the entire night. At the start of round four Romaldo Labrooy was leading the championship with 139 points, while Rami Azzam was a close second at 137 points.
Both drivers struggled in qualifying and although they improved in race one, it was Ahmed Al Hammadi who beat them to the chequered flag.
Race two deteriorated into a scruffy match that saw Romaldo’s championship hopes compromised when he had a collision with Rami’s younger brother, Ramez Azzam. Ramez went on to win race two but received a penalty for the incident that put him at the back of the grid for race three.
The title was still up for grabs in race three and both Romaldo and Rami knew they had to place as high as possible to secure the championship. Ahmed Al Hammadi once again dominated the event and took the victory but it was the tenacious driving of Rami Azzam, slowing picking his way through the crowd and going from twelfth on the grid to finish third, that secured the title.
He finished the championship on 179 points while Labrooy ended up just four points shy at 175 and Atef Al Barwani netted third with 169.
Rami explained, “Today was a bit tough; it got a little edgy at times but that is what the championship is. If it’s not edgy it’s not going to be worth it in the end.”
The Masters category, for drivers aged 35 or older, was a much more conventional affair with Mohammed Ismail Ali again triumphant over his rivals, earning him a perfect four out of four round victories and the overall title. Gary Jones had chased him throughout the series but in the end he had to settle for second place while Heiki Eelma took third.
At the Indoor Circuit of the Dubai Kartdrome the Junior Cup title was not decided until the last race of the evening. Kamal Agha, Oliver Walton and Samir Malas were pre-match favourites and all three of them put themselves in great positions on the Grand Final grid.
Kamal started the final race in pole position but couldn’t hold on to it as Samir Malas passed him up and crossed the finish line just 0.995 seconds ahead. Walton narrowly trailed Agha by 0.507 seconds for third place.
Samir had done enough to win round four but Kamal’s second place finish was enough to acquire the necessary points to wrap up the Junior Cup title. Agha secured the championship with 184 points. Walton earned second with 177 points and Malas followed closely in third with 175.
Prizes were presented to all of the championship podium winners. Rami Azzam was awarded a fully funded Rotax /Iame race weekend, courtesy of Energy Karts Dubai, while Mohammed Ismail Ali won a Formula DXB Experience, courtesy of Dubai Autodrome. Kamal Agha was given a fully funded race weekend of Rotax/Iame, courtesy of CRG Middle East.
At the close of the night Ramadan Challenge Race Director David Bright said, “With the technical difficulties of the Indoor Circuit for Juniors and the reverse grid format for Seniors, this series ensures that only the best of the best kart drivers make it to podium.
“Dubai Kartdrome, Energy Karts Dubai and CRG Middle East are proud to support UAE motorsport and we are thrilled to provide a platform for talented drivers to advance to the next level.”