Dubai: TCR Series headlines season opener at Dubai Autodrome

Dubai: TCR Series headlines season opener at Dubai Autodrome


Dubai, UAE, 19 November 2017:  The 2017-2018 season officially kicked off at Dubai Autodrome on Friday and Saturday (17-18 November) with the TCR International Series Speedfest on the 3.56-kilometre National Circuit.

The final deciding round of the TCR International Series headlined the race weekend, supported by the local championships of NGK Racing Series, UAE Sportbike Championship, Radical Middle East Cup, Formula Gulf Academy and the TRD86 Cup.

TCR International Series

Jean-Karl Vernay, driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI for Leopard Racing Team, secured the 2017 Driver’s Championship after successfully holding off a determined challenge by Attila Tassi’s M1RA Honda Civic Type-R in the first of two races.

Vernay went into race one knowing that all he had to do was finish ahead of Tassi to take the championship.  He qualified second on the grid and Tassi landed the tenth spot, so the French driver appeared to have an easy task ahead.

However, Vernay lagged behind after a poor start, while Tassi made a great getaway and was soon giving chase.  The Hungarian knew he had to pass Vernay in order to force the title decider into race two.  Meanwhile Pepe Oriola also had great start, going from fourth on the grid, diving down the main straight and into the front of the pack.

Oriola’s Seat Leon took a comfortable lead, but the last half of the race was a tense affair between the title contenders back in fourth and fifth place, with Tassi sitting right on the back bumper of Vernay, desperate to make a pass.

Vernay held off the challenges, and James Nash was able to take advantage of the scuffle, wedging his Seat Leon in front of Tassi and dashing any hopes the Hungarian might have had.  Oriola won race one and Vernay’s third-place finish secured him the 2017 Driver’s Title.

The Teams Title and Model of the Year Award were still up for grabs in race two, which led to a frantic contest throughout the seventeen laps.  Last year’s driver champ, Stefano Comini managed to guide his Audi RS 3 LMS out of the chaos and across the finish line to take the chequered flag 1.190 seconds ahead of the Volkswagen Golf GTI of Gianni Morbidelli.

When the final points were tallied, the Hungarian outfit of M1RA took home the 2017 Teams Title ahead of Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing.  The Model of the Year Award went to the Volkswagen Golf GTI by a narrow margin over the Honda Civic Type-R.

UAE Sportbike Championship

An epic battle is already taking shape between defending 600cc champ Mahmoud Tannir and long-standing rival Ahmed Almuyini.

Almuyini struck first, grabbing pole position on his Kawasaki ZX6R with a best qualifying lap time of 1:33.023 on the National Circuit, a mere 0.274 seconds ahead of Tannir, riding a Honda CBR600RR.

In Race One, the margin of victory would be even closer, with the Saudi and Lebanese riders side by side for the lead.  On the last lap Almuyini snuck past Tannir to take the chequered flag by a miniscule 0.015 seconds gap.

However, Almuyini’s good fortune didn’t carry over into the second race, and he dropped his bike in the opening lap, leaving Tannir in control for the comfortable class win, crossing the finish line 33.508 seconds clear of Fahad Al Gharbally.

In the 600cc Rookie Class, Federico Fratelli on his Yamaha R6 went two-for-two, taking close victories both times over Angelo Villone, riding a Kawasaki ZX6R.

In the non-championship 1000cc class, Yamaha R1 rider Nasser Al Shaiba scored two category wins, with Vafi Khan on his BMW S1000RR claiming second.

NGK Racing Series

It was a Greek party for Classes One and Two, as Hellenic drivers dominated the contest throughout.  Defending champion Costas Papantonis teamed up with Alexandros Annivas to bag two class victories in their Mouhritsa Racing Sean Leon Super Copa.

Alexandros pulled a double-duty shift, changing cars during pit stops and then partnering with Constantinos Annivas in a Renault Clio Cup, also of Mouhritsa Racing, to seize a Class Two victory and two Clio Cup triumphs.  Jonathan Mullan and Umair Khan of ZRT Motorsport were the only ones to challenge the Greeks, nabbing a narrow Class Two victory in race one.

The fastest cars of the series were the Dragon Racing Ferraris of Class Three.  The Ferrari 458 GT3 of Jim Geddie and the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Leon Price and Rob Barff battled it for top honours, and in both races Geddie emerged victorious.

Formula Gulf Academy

Scottish driver James Scott Murphy made a perfect start to his FG1000 season campaign.  He scored a motorsport hat trick, taking pole position in qualifying, and then going on to win the next two races.

Kane Shepherd of Thailand was only 0.294 seconds off the qualifying pace of Murphy’s best lap time of 1:22.669, but that was as close as he could get, and he had to settle for second-place in each of the races.

Radical Middle East Cup

Dream Racing Dubai’s Jani Hjerppe appears to be back in form and ready to defend his 2016-2017 title with a decisive double win over the weekend.

In the first 45-minute endurance race Hjerppe, the “Flying Finn”, put on a masterclass performance in his Radical SR3, trouncing the field and taking the race victory by 36.717 seconds over the AUH Motorsports duo of Richard Ardolino and Eric Zimmermann.

Race two was more of the same, with Hjerppe improving on his previous marks and sailing home for the victory, a full 40.532 seconds in front of Dragos Dumitrascu and Sam Taheri of AUH Motorsports.

TRD86 Cup

Defending champion Karim Al Azhari had to retire in race one, giving his one of his rivals, Mohamed Abdul Ghaffar the chance to seize the top step of the podium in Gold Class.  Al Azhari returned in full force for race two, winning comfortably over Ghaffar by 18.210 seconds.

In Silver Class, Umair Khan went two-for-two, claiming two classes victories over Michel Karam.

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6 hrs ago


We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form ... See Less

We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form

Comment on Facebook

We stand with #F1 do you always have to reminded of true responsibility by the Champ #LewisHamilton Proudly black/colored❤️👌🙏👀

Really F1? And yet they held a Bahrain Grand Prix literally while the locals were protesting and being oppressed. One post created by your PR team while you’ve done nothing for real change seems quite meaningless. Do better.

Hamilton was on the receiving end of racism during the pre season tests at Catalunya in 2008, so he knows what it’s like firsthand. Good job he spoke out, especially with what happened in Minneapolis last week

Took a bit of criticism from your best driver for you to say something about it as a whole. We do this together.

Will F1 really take a stand and not hold events in countries with systemic human rights violations? I doubt it.

So much racism in F1. I can’t wait for the day a person of color drives the best car on the grid, makes the most money, and becomes a multiple world champion... oh wait... never mind 🙄 late..dollar short..only speaking up after prodding from Lewis...PR lip service...

Humans are imperfect and forever will be. I doubt you can oppose and eradicate it. Each and every individual need to decide to not let these evil things from inside to take control of him. Once all the protests are over it will silence down only for it to come back again. How soon another protest will happen doesn't matter. How capable EACH and EVERY human is from getting controlled from the evil within is the real challenge. The lack of self control is the greatest human imperfection.

Let's be real, had Lewis Hamilton not called them out. They wouldn't have said anything.

Nice to finally hear from the American owners of F1. Been left to Lewis to lead the charge again.

You missed the caveat... *yet we’ll still continue to do business & hold races in Russia, China, Bahrain, Vietnam & Abu Dhabi as well as for pushing for a deal with Saudi Arabia. Because human rights & oppression doesn’t bother us when there’s $ to be made.

Let's fight against police brutality also! Why none entity can write it explicitly?

What about all of the roits, and looting. Nothing will be said about it? People’s businesses ruined by this. But nothing will be said about it?

We have to fight against this racism together. And also against the police brutality.

Should have done this before Lewis accused the whole paddock of racism

Lewis Hamilton is the voice of F1

they're not gonna buy tickets or subscriptions, bro.

I hope this isn't supporting the beating of innocent people and the burning/looting of innocent peoples businesses!

This is the first time F1 has a “political” view on things. Next: terminate the contracts with China?

What is this about?

This is better I can support this message forever !!! Every other company charity and celebrity that are jumping on the band wagon can just do one ! Well done F1

Looks as though LH got his way...whining works

Well done Lewis for forcing this reaction and well done to F1 for putting it out!

Hypocrisy by F1. Took Lewis Hamilton to highlight the fact. Maybe F1 will boycott countries with human rights issues or will you continue pleasing the money men?

"We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form" ❤🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍

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7 hrs ago


A #MotoGP legend returned to claim victory while new names stepped up in #Moto2 and #Moto3! 🙌

Enjoy the highlights from the #VirtualBritishGP! 🇬🇧
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Please ignore the bullshit of all the haters. We know it is not easy to keep a show like #motogp running and I personally am grateful to see that you champions all gathered to keep it alive. I love the sport I love motorcycles So keep going Avanti, arivederci, adios,Vamos Hahah

If nothing else it's clever graphics. 👍

XPTDRRRRR.... Les graphismes son magnifiques !!!!!

99 le meilleur !!! 😈


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8 hrs ago


3⃣0⃣ questions ⁉️ in 6⃣0⃣ seconds!⏱️

Find out more about Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS8038">#Mike Di Meglio Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Mike Di Meglio! ⬇️
... See Less

9 hrs ago


Shoulder barging, late braking and (in some cases) a total disregard for track limits! 😂

The #VirtualBritishGP re-wrote the rule book on overtaking! 🎮
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Hopefully some real action soon 🙏

MotoGP game is not at the level of the F1 . Why?

Terrible physics engine lol awful game

for 2020 the graphics and gameplay are pretty shit I have to say

Hahaha exceed track limits big time. Its not off-roading hahaha xxx

If there will be any races this year I bet you Spain only

Ride is much more realistic this looks piss poor

C’est fluidifier c’est impressionnant 🤣🤣🤣

Fabio still can’t find a way to win 😂😂😂

Bumper GP

Lag lag lag 😂😂

Carsten Lauerer das ist ja im Vergleich zu deiner Fahrweise absolut aus dem Lehrbuch... brenn

If you have faith and believe you can give us a try because all water are disame but they have different taste in any problem you want to solved like,(talk and do or promotion in work or Yahoo ip or Yahoo plus or back to sender or travel to abroad problem or money ritual without human blood or love ring or Lotto number or in any problem you want to solved you can call or Whatsapp on +2348117439033

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10 hrs ago

24H Series

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #24HPORTIMAO #racing
... See Less

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥 

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June 

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #24HPORTIMAO #racing

Comment on Facebook

Definitely will be watching!

I m go there to see in live 🤗😁

Oh que oui

Sam Dejonghe die dame lacht nogal mooi naar u 👌

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