CG Racing determined to seal Sodi World Series title

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Aiming for top: CG Racing.

CG Racing head to the 2015 Sodi World Series (SWS) Grand Finals in France over the weekend determined to bring home the top prize.

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The team last year came agonisingly close to bagging the SWS Endurance title at Le Mans, finishing second by the narrowest of margins.

Team manager Habib Choueiri said: “CG Racing have two teams in the World Finals and our objective this time around is to beat our own previous best performance.

“Our entry of two teams in the World Finals is made with the aim of taking the top two spots on the podium.”

Competition will be tough, with all teams who line-up on the endurance grid targeting victory in a race where conditions in Europe and UAE differ vastly.

Team captain Oliver Saade said: “Our last performance helped us better understand European track configurations and conditions.

“Being new to us, we had to quickly adapt. Moreover, the variant rules and regulations in Europe are different from what we are accustomed to in Dubai, hence last year was a steep learning curve.”

On driving duty for CG Racing Pro will be karting world champion David Terrien, SWS front-runner Rami Azzam and reigning Rotax DD2 champion Piers Pakenham-Walsh.

In the second CG Racing team, Saade will be on driver duty along with Salem Salem, Maged Traboulsi and Patrick Katrib. CG Racing have made an unprecedented impact on the SWS Endurance scene at Dubai Kartdrome.

Team principal Pierre Choueiri said: “CG Racing was established as a result of our casual participation in a race which was held for media companies at the Kartdrome. Ever since, and over a period of five years, the Kartdrome has served as our definitive home ground of which we are extremely proud to have seen the venue evolve alongside our own teams and their performance.

“The level of focus and determination it takes to rise to the top has definitely been something which we have learned from the races and practices held at the Kartdrome, which has always welcomed worldclass competitors, of whom we have learnt a great deal of.”

Missing out on the title last year clearly riles the team boss, but at the same time inspires his team to make it happen this time around.

“It’s important to note that during our previous World Finals experience, we came in only a mere 3.146 seconds behind the winners,” he added.

“We missed the top place by a very insignificant margin and therefore we are thirsty for the first place trophy to come back home with us to the UAE.”

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Ahmad Al Harthy finishes in fourth British GT round

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Happy with car set up: Ahmad Al Harthy.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship title contender Ahmad Al Harthy delivered an impressive performance at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, finishing fourth for the Oman Racing Team.

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Missing out on a podium place in the three-hour Silverstone 500 after a late safety car intervention, the 33-year-old and team-mate Daniel Lloyd consolidated fifth in the driver standings and have also increased their lead in the ‘Silver Cup’ classification.

“I was really happy with the way we raced, we’ve improved a lot and we were so close to a podium finish,” said Al Harthy.

Competing at Silverstone for the second weekend in succession, having contested the Blancpain Endurance Series encounter seven days earlier, the Oman Racing pair qualified fifth fastest for round four of the British GT series.

“The team did an incredible job with the car again this weekend and with the strategy too”, added Al Harthy.

“The car was good on the wet tyres, trying to keep them cool was key as the track dried, and then it was a case of the opposite when we switched to slicks – trying to keep the temperature up.

“The car was very well set-up for both conditions and I was very happy with my pace overall. In the wet the pace was amazing and I really enjoyed it.

“Going into the next round at Spa (July 11) we’re feeling very positive as we’ve been competitive again this weekend.”

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Rashid Al Dhaheri claims podium place in Italy

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Impressive performance: Rashid Al Dhaheri.

Rashid Al Dhaheri enjoyed one of his best showings of his season last weekend at Round 4 of the Parolin Academy Championship, where he impressed in wet conditions to finish third in Jesolo, Italy.

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– #360win: UCL final mega table at Garden on 8, Media One Hotel
– ON THE RADAR: President’s Cup final and NSL basketball finals

The impressive performance in trying conditions not only earned Rashid, affectionately know as ‘Little Alonso’, a third place, but the Abu Dhabi schoolboy also became the youngest Emirati race driver to make it onto the podium at an international karting event. 

Since he was given special dispensation to race in a higher class in the Parolin Academy Championship, the seven-year old Emirati is now battling it out in the class with drivers aged between 8-10 years.

Rashid started the weekend by upsetting the pecking order when qualifying on pole position by nearly a second despite wet and windy conditions which are normally foreign to the Abu Dhabi resident. 

His performance impressed all in the paddock at the historic Pista Azzurra, where the greats of Formula One have raced in the past, including Alain Prost, Riccardo Patrese, Ayrton Senna, Alex Zanardi, Michael Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella, Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. 

A revised schedule for race day caught the team out, as Rashid arrived late for the Pre-Final which prevented him from taking to the track.

This meant Rashid would have his work cut-out in the Final.

Starting from the back of the grid, the youngster was unfazed by the ‘demotion’ and was instead highly motivated as he proceeded to deliver one of his finest showings to date. 

Keeping out of trouble and making each move count, Rashid made his way through the field to finish third, in the slip-stream of the front two. 

Rashid crossed the line a mere 0.2 of a second short of the winner. 

He also claimed the fastest lap of the race in a performance which was among the highlights of the weekend at Jesolo.

Rashid completed around 200km of testing and racing over 25 sessions during the three days in Italy, and team manager Fausto Ippoliti said: “The weekend was a great experience for Rashid. We took an important step in his development by adding telemetry to his programme. 

“Rashid impressed us a lot by the way he understood and applied it to his driving.” 

Rashid’s karting campaign continues when he returns to Italy for the next round of the Parolin Academy Championship at the Circuito di Siena on June 20.

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