Dubai Kartdrome to host 2015 Endurance Championship’s series opener

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Gruelling hours ahead: Teams and drivers are eager to get into action.

Dubai Kartdrome will host the 2015 Endurance Championship’s series opener, the 12 Hours race, this Friday.

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– Lutter and Loffreda grab third spot in Radical Middle East Cup

Reigning champions Batelco have decided not to participate in the championship, which sets the stage for a new pecking order as several top teams will be jostling for the No1 spot on the podium.

Multiple champions CG Racing have always been the team to take the battle to Batelco, and will inevitably be the team to beat this season as they target the rare, and hard to get, triple crown – claiming the title in the Pro Category, Nations Cup and the Corporate Category –  which they scooped in 2013.

Under team manager Habib Chouery – and drivers including David Terrien, Rami Azzam and Piers-Pakenham Walsh – the team mean business.

The most likely challengers for the top prize in the four-round series are Dubai Falcon Racing Team, spearheaded by Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum and Saeed Al Mehairi, former champions Dojomoto Mach 1 and the all Emirati line-up of Mini Dubai.

The start of the new season throws up several ‘unknown quantities’ and among these are the likes of the three-team Globcom outfit, Dubai5 and Blacklist.

In the Corporate Category, CG Racing have two potent teams who know the way to the podium and will again be hard to beat, but they will nevertheless face a concerted challenge from regular front runners Fly Emirates and Team Emirates, along with Lukoil Racing. 

Speaking ahead of the season opener on Friday, Kartdrome manager Ryan Trutch said: “Once again we have to thank Mini for backing this edition of the endurance championship.

"Their commitment to the series has helped it grow each year.

“We have a very strong field for the opening round on Friday, with several teams expected to fight for victory. 

“There are some seasoned campaigners out there and there really is no room for error. 

“I predict that the team with the best strategy, who make no mistakes will celebrate on the top step of the Kartdrome podium,” added Trutch.

Track action on Friday starts at 09:30 with free practice followed by 15 minutes of qualifying at 10:45 with the race set to be flagged off at 12:00.

The chequered flag will wave 12 hours later, at midnight, to bring proceedings to an end, which will be followed by the podium ceremony.

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Romain Lutter and Ludovic Loffreda grab third spot in Radical Middle East Cup

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Winners: Romain Lutter (L) and Ludovic Loffreda (R) stand on the podium after the race.

Dubai Autodrome was in full swing over the weekend with back to back racing events when it hosted the fourth Radical Middle East Championship Cup. Each day had two rounds, where Romain Lutter and Ludovic Loffreda eyed top spot on home soil. 

The French duo set a best time record of 2:04.164 in 20 laps on Friday afternoon racing against other teams. This landed the team on the podium with Sergey Shalunov, Sameh Al Qubaisi and Tarek El Gammal.

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– Champion rolls back the years after coming out of retirement at Sharjah

Speaking after the race, driver Ludovic Loffreda of Lucco Racing team said “Sunday’s race was a bit tight and intense. Most of the drivers, including us, have familiarized the track here so it all boils down to one’s techniques and approach this time.”

Lucco racing team, Loffreda (L) and Lutter (R), remained on the podium for the fourth consecutive time.

The team had been consistently in the top position since the beginning of 2014/15 Radical Middle East Championship in December. “We’ve got two more races to go and we aim to take home the winning title this year. We plan to enhance and work on our strategy to score maximum points for the next races,” stated Loffreda.

Saturday race for 16 laps took Lucco Racing team to 2:04.631 as their best time under Supersports class.

The next Radical race will take place on 12 and 13 March in Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

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Max Nagl gets FIM Motorcross World Championship opener off to winning start

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Nagl took home full points from the first round.

Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl got his FIM Motocross World Championship campaign off to a winning start with two victories in the season opener at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar late on Saturday night.

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The German pulled off two very impressive ‘Fox Holeshots’, which has given him the early advantage in the race towards the €10,000 (Dh41,121) purse.

Nagl led all 36 laps despite being under immense pressure from a previous MXGP of Qatar winner, Clement Desalle, in Race 1 and then returned to top Race 2 and take away full points.

Desalle, who finished the night second overall, looked in good nick on the specially laid out track at Losail, pulling away from two of MXGP’s hottest players in Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin.

In MX2, Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings also had victories in the bag on the night to finish top of the overall standings with Yamaha’s Julien Lieber and Kawasaki’s Dylan Ferrandis completing the podium.

Meanwhile, the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX) got off to an interesting start with three-time world champion, Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi, having to contend with second overall after Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot made a perfect start to her 2015 world championship campaign with two victories.

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