Sodi ME’s Vincent Fraisse wins 2015 IAME X30 Seniors World Championship title

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Delight: Dubai-based Vincent Fraisse claims title.

Dubai-based karting driver, 23 year old, Vincent Fraisse claimed the 2015 IAME X30 Seniors World Championship title by powering to victory in a nail biting Grand Final at Le Mans in France on Sunday.

Fraisse, a multiple French karting champion, overcame a tough field of 123 drivers in the Senior category – featuring the top IAME X30 drivers from around the world – and delivered a masterclass of tactical driving to turn third place on the grid for the Grand Final into top spot on the podium at the end of a thrilling 21 laps race which saw the top three cross the finish line nose to tail – a mere 0.158 of a second apart.

Action started on Friday at Le Mans, adjacent to the venue of the historic 24 hours race, with several qualifying heats for each driver.

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Fraisse was at the sharp end of proceedings constantly throughout the weekend and in the final delivered a gutsy display to snatch victory from Belgian ace William Godefroid and French star Kevin Breysse, the pair finishing second and third respectively.

Fraisse said afterwards: “We did it! Thank you everybody in Dubai for your support. I am so happy because it was a hard race with very tough and fast drivers. I tried to make a gap but they would not let me go so it was very close at the finish.

“The Sodi team support has been great and together we did it. We will come back next year and do it again.”

Fraisse has been in Dubai since August, ahead of the UAE karting season, as part of the Sodi Middle East Racing Team where he coaches young drivers.

Other Dubai based drivers to excel in France this weekend included Tom Bale who delivered what was one of the performances of the IAME 30X Senior Grand Final by finishing fourth and in touch with the leaders having started 13th on the grid. He simply ran out of laps to get the job done in the end despite setting the fastest lap of the race.

In the IAME X30 Shifter category Sean Babbington, a Kartdrome regular, was the class of the field, stamping his authority on a quality field as he sped to a dominant victory by over three seconds to the next best.

Sodi ME Team boss Nico Fargeas said: “Vincent has established himself here in Dubai very quickly. He is a knowledgeable and tough coach, but the kids thrive under his supervision and now of course we are all very proud of having the IAME X30 World Champion in our team.”

“Having the likes of Vincent on hand shows Sodi’s commitment to developing karting and young drivers in the UAE. His performance will no doubt inspire drivers who know him and have the opportunity to work with him.”

Fraisse returns to Dubai on Tuesday (20 October) and back to work at the Kartdrome from where Sodi run their team operations, and on 29-30 October he will be at Al Forsan coaching and overseeing the Sodi ME Racing Team drivers in action on the national scene.

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Happy Birthday – October 18 – Martina Navratilova, Narendra Hirwani, Lindsey Vonn

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One of tennis’ greatest ever champions, Martina Navratilova, who turns 59 today, is the only player in history to hold the world No1 spot in singles and doubles for more than 200 weeks.

The Czech-born American was known for her incredible feel at the net and her mastery of the lowbouncing grass courts. She won Wimbledon a staggering nine times (an all-time record) and ended her career with a total of 18 grand slam singles titles and an alltime record 31 grand slam doubles crowns.

Her career longevity meant that she was ranked in the world’s top 10 in singles for a record 20 consecutive years (1975- 1994), a span which included 19 years in the top five, 15 years in the top three, and seven years as world No1.

Navratilova is one of just three women to have accomplished a Career Grand Slam in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

1949: George Hendrick, American ex-baseball player, won the 1982 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (66).

1968: Narendra Hirwani, Indian leg spinner who had a stunning Test debut against Windies at the age of 19 (47).

1968: Michael Stich, retired big-serving German tennis player who won Wimbledon in 1991 (47).

1984: Lindsey Vonn, American two-time World skier champion. Won Olympic gold in downhill in Vancouver 2010 (31).

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On this day: October 18, 2005 – Thierry Henry becomes Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer

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On this day 10 years ago, French forward Thierry Henry etched his name in the Arsenal history books.

Facing Sparta Prague in the Champions League group stage, a brace from Henry lifted the Gunners past their opponents 2-0 and in the process, he passed former record holder Ian Wright to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Henry, who had just come off a six-week layoff due to a groin injury, put Arsenal ahead in the 21st minute, tying Wright’s Arsenal scoring record of 185.

The record-breaking 186th goal came in the 74th minute, as Henry calmly controlled a long ball with his heel, then curled the strike in from the edge of the area.

1908: The first Milan derby between AC Milan and Inter is played in Chiasso, Switzerland, just seven months after Inter’s formation.

1992: Zimbabwe begin life as a Test playing nation by drawing against India in Harare.

2009: Jenson Button becomes a F1 world champion after driving from 14th to fifth at Brazilian Grand Prix.

2009: Tom Brady throws five second-quarter touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans, an NFL record for touchdown passes in one quarter.

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