First time Out for EBC Brakes sponsored Harry Hannam since breaking his arm six weeks ago at Al Ain in the National Championships. The Dubai ‘O’ Plate offered its own rewards as a one off championship meeting. A slightly smaller field was entered but most of the top drivers from the national class were there.
Day 1, Qualifying was ruined by a technical issue meaning having qualified last and having to start each of the 3 heats on day 1 from 8th position, last on the grid!
Heat one started well enough as Harry managed to move up to 3rd in the first few corners only to have the axle come loose halfway through the race, the kart was slowing dramatically for the second half of the race meaning Harry could only bring it back in 5th.
Heats 2 and 3 resulted in two 4ths whilst battling (sometimes quite literally!) with Alex Renner for the last podium position, with Alex coming out on top both times.
Day 2 turned out to be a day of poor starts. Starting the Pre-final in 4th, an apprehensive start saw Harry fall all the way back to last place, before climbing back up to 4th again but with the front 3 already up the road, Harry could only bring the gap down to a little over 4 seconds behind 3rd and with a 10 second gap back to 5th.
The Final had Harry 3rd on the grid (promoted due to penalties handed out to other drivers in the Pre Final) and with a significant set up change made to the Kart, it would be an exciting race. But yet another poor start saw Harry fall several places in the first few corners and by the time Harry had fought his way back up to 4th, the front 3 had a pulled a 3.5 second lead, Harry then put in a succession of fastest laps to catch the 3 which he did with 2 laps to go but could not find a way through to get onto the podium. 1.7 seconds covered the top 4, Harry 0.3 from the podium.
So Harry can take away from this meeting that he has the race pace to keep up with any one, just needs some better starts, but with the accident still fresh in his mind from 6 weeks ago, maybe a few self-doubts have to be put away first….
Big thanks to Harry’s Supporters, EBC Brakes, MSW, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers ME and Middle East Cranes