National Racing returns to Dubai Autodrome

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The National Racing Day power weekend displayed some of the best racers and boasted many exciting finishes.

A number of races took place over the two-day festival of motor-racing, including the NGK Racing Series, UAE Sportbike Championship, The Radical Middle East Cup and the all-new F4 UAE Championship.

The NGK series showcased Lean Price of The Dragon Racing Team and Wee Liam Keong of GDL Racing, with the latter narrowly winning as the two drivers battled it out at the finish line.

In the second race, Keong dominated and admitted that he made a few adjustments to his approach on the track: “We were a bit lacking at the start so we looked through the data, watched some video, spoke with the team and managed to find a bit of pace. We’re happy with the result.”

In the class two category, Ashan Silva won both races and Will Morrison claimed two first-place trophies in the Renault Clio Cup sub-category. Mourihsta Racing champion Costas Papantonis also recorded two class victories, once again proving his winning pedigree.

It was a busy weekend of UAE motorsport action.

The UAE Sportsbike Championship was full of heated competition with Naser Al Shaiba riding his 1000cc Yamaha R1 and making quite a statement in the qualifying rounds. In the first race, Al Shaiba started out in the lead but faded out towards the back end.

Ahmed Almuyini, riding a 600cc Kawasaki ZX6R, and Mahmoud Tannir on a Honda CBR600RR, were competing for the top two places – with Almuyini winning .163 seconds ahead.

Race two was won by Mahmoud Tannir. He commented: “I have to thank the guys at Honda. We rectified some things for Race Two with the tires and it really, really worked. I was very comfortable with the bike.”

Shifting to the F4 UAE Championship, the race’s first time at Dubai AutoDrome, the top three competitors battled over the weekend, with Jonathan Aberdein finishing on top with the most points.

The Radical Middle East Cup commenced with Radicals roaring on the tarmac.

The reigning champion Romain Lutter was dominant on Friday but Ollie Smith captured the title on Saturday.

The Formula Gulf Academy’s qualifying round was won by Omar Gazzaz, beating Alex Korkosik by a mere .16 seconds. On race day, Alex made a comeback and won both races in a redeeming fashion.

Auto Racing enthusiasts will have another showcase of tournaments to enjoy, the power weekend will star again on the 9th-10th of December, 2016.

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Babington ready for Round 1 of F4UAE

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Dubai-based karting champion Sean Babington will make his circuit racing debut this weekend as the new F4UAE Championship prepares for Round 1 in Dubai, UAE.

Originally from Great Britain, Babington is a four-time British karting champion, has won three European titles and a world championship, and during the past two years since moving to the UAE has acted as driver coach for national championship-winning Energy Karts Dubai based at the Dubai Autodrome’s Kartdrome.

However, this weekend not only marks the first time that Babington has raced a Formula 4 Tatuus open-wheeler, but also anything other than a kart, as he steps into the #4 Energy Dubai F4UAE racecar for the first point-scoring Championship round of the season.

“I’ve always wanted to jump up to circuit racing and Formula 4 is the perfect opportunity to do that in proper racecars,” said Babington. “To be honest, once I finished school I was pretty much full-time racing karts in the UK most weekends, and years down the line I still haven’t been in a car yet so F4 is a great chance for me to move up.”

Having first tested the F4UAE Tatuus this past Tuesday at the Dubai Autodrome, Babington confirmed he comfortably took to the new formula car ahead of his first race on Friday.

“It was an easier transition than I thought,” admitted Babington. “I found the cars limits and I’d say it’s got to be one of the closest things to a kart with the way it handles. You can throw the car around a bit more, the car’s really responsive, it’s hard to get used to the braking but it’s still great fun to drive.”

Well cemented in the strong karting scene in the UAE, Babington was complimentary of F4UAE and envisions the Championship being the natural stepping stone for many local junior karters who wish to progress their careers professionally in the future.

F4UAE promoter Carl Rolaston welcomed Babington to the Championship and believes his previous racing success will be a great attribute to the category.

“Sean has been racing since he was nine-years-old and despite not having raced single-seaters before, he has honed his race craft very well and I have no doubt will be competitive,” said Rolaston. “We welcome him to the starting grid and wish he and all of our competitors an enjoyable and successful weekend.”

At last month’s non-championship Trophy Event, Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team finished third in all three races thanks to India-based Ricky Donison, who will return to the team for Round 2 in December.

Round 1 of the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth will take place this Thursday to Saturday, November 17-19, at the Dubai Autodrome Circuit.

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UAE gets its first kart-racing school

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Participants will be offered basic training including theory classes and driving lessons.

Al Forsan International Sports Resort is set to launch the first kart-racing school in the UAE on January 1, 2017.

Catering to both adults and children, it will be known as the Al Forsan Racing School and is designed to promote the values required to excel at the sport, while developing the students’ personal growth.

The courses are designed to initiate beginners to the sport of karting by teaching them basic safety regulations that are critical for their well-being during the races as well as practically on the road.

With packages available for all age groups, they aim to prepare the students to take their love of the sport to a professional level, whilst also offering parents and their children an opportunity to bond with a shared passion.

Participants will be offered basic training including theory classes as well as driving lessons taught by highly qualified teachers like Nacho Girona from CRG Middle East.

Girona is an ex-Formula Ford and Formula 3 professional driver and has extensive background in racing and coaching.

Students will be provided with the approved equipment to develop this activity: Karts by CRG Middle East, helmets and driving suit.

“We want to set up a very simple program where we teach the students a range of techniques, beginning from how to sit safely in a kart and reaching a level where they can be trusted not to injure themselves or others due to ignorance.” explained Rashed Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Al Forsan International Sports Resort.

“I believe that it is very important for kids to become good drivers for the future and this is a good way for the parents to educate the kids through a fun way.”

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