Romaldo Labrooy and Anjum Shaikh of Dubai Falcons Racing Team were relentless in pursuit of their third win in a row at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday, wrapping up the 2018 Sodi World Series (SWS) Summer Enduro Cup Championship in top form.
Arjun Manjunath of Emirates PRO presented a challenge to the Dubai Falcons early on by securing pole position with a best lap time of 52.358 on the Speedway Bus Stop Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome.
However, endurance races are not won on a single fast lap, and the steady and controlled driving by veterans Labrooy and Shaikh made all the difference in the race.
After 145 laps and over two hours of racing, Dubai Falcons Racing Team made it look easy, with Anjum Shaikh crossing the finish line a full 22.798 seconds ahead of Emirates PRO.
Championship rivals, SLD Racing, struggled in the final round, settling for a fifth-place finish and leaving the door wide open for Dubai Falcons Racing Team to walk home with the title.
Over the three rounds of the SWS Summer Enduro Cup, the Dubai Falcons were near perfect in their pursuit of the 2018 title.
They racked up three straight victories, two pole positions, one fastest lap and 153 total championship points.
Muteb Alsaqhan and Duarte Lopes of SLD Racing collected 128 points for second-place, just four points above Mohammed Ismail and Saeed Al Mehairi of Al Ain Falcons Racing Team with 124 points and the third step on the championship podium.
The track variations in each round may have been difficult for some drivers, but winner Anjum Shaikh enjoyed the challenge.
He said, “Great championship and the best part was the three different tracks.”
Along with the winning trophy, Labrooy and Shaikh also received prizes, including free entry into Round Three of the Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Championship (19-20 October) and hotel vouchers at the Park Inn by Radisson in MotorCity.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright said, “Congratulations to Romaldo and Anjum.
“They demonstrated spectacular driving on their way to a well-earned victory to take the first Summer Enduro Cup title.”
“I’d also like to thank George Gibbons Motorsport (GGM) and Park Inn by Radisson in MotorCity for supporting the series and providing great prizes for the top teams.”
After seven successful seasons as the NGK Racing Series, which featured Touring Cars, Radicals and GTs, the Touring Car segment has grown significantly to support an entire series on its own.
The NGK UAE TCC will feature multiple classes, including the new “Renault Clio Cup Class powered by Renault Middle East”, which is expected to have the most cars of any category on the grid.
In addition to race weekend prizes and parts support, Renault Middle East will also offer the champion of the Renault Clio Cup Class powered by Renault Middle East an all-expense paid entry into a race of the Renault Clio Cup France in 2019.
Dubai Autodrome General Manager Faisal Al Sahlawi remarked, “The Renault Clio Cup has always been an integral part of Touring Car racing in the UAE, and it is fantastic to now have Renault Middle East directly involved.
We welcome their support which will be a big boost for the series.”
Renault Middle East Marketing Director Emmanuel Guiffault said, “With Renault Sports set to re-launch in the region, the Dubai Autodrome partnership and the Renault Clio Cup Class powered by Renault Middle East provide the perfect platforms to promote Renault performance cars.”
“Renault Middle East is looking forward to supporting the most competitive class in the NGK UAE Touring Car Championship.”
Drivers who are interested in racing a Renault Clio Cup car for the 2018-2019 season are encouraged to visit the Renault Clio Cup stand at the Emirates Motorsport Expo on September 14 at Dubai Autodrome, or contact Dominic Simon, Sales & Events Executive at Dubai Autodrome ([email protected]).
The first round of the NGK UAE TCC kicks off on November 16-17 at Dubai Autodrome.
The Victory Team’s strategy of promoting four-time F1 world champion Alex Carella into the cockpit paid early dividends as the Italian powered his way to an outright triumph in the Match Race honours at the EDH Grand Prix of Norway.
With neither of the Team Abu Dhabi drivers, including the 2017 UIM F2 world champion Rashid Al Qamzi entering the race, it was Victory Team’s Carella showing the way while clocking a top speed of 187kph in the speed run in his first appearance for the team in blue this season.
Competing in Norway’s oldest city of Tønsberg, Carella defeated home favourite Ola Petterson in the final with his run of 1 minute, 13.45 seconds much better than his Swedish opponent’s 1:13.99 minutes. Earlier in the semi-finals, Carella had defeated Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas, while Petterson had got the better of American Brent Dillard.
Carella was pleased with the fine showing from the Dubai-based team that has so far gone without any major successes this season.
“We have a good package which really worked well for us today,” Carella admitted after his win.
“The package was really stable, so I think little by little we are getting there. What we achieved today is also important for team spirit following the team’s lows during the past few races,” he added.
Al Qamzi had consolidated his hold on the 2017 world title after finishing in third place on the famous fjord course before sealing a first-ever world crown for Team Abu Dhabi in the season-ending Grand Prix of Portugal in a shortened championship last autumn.
Italian Alberto Comparato is currently leading the championship after winning the Grand Prix of Lithuania in Kaunas – the opening round of the championship – at the end of May. He is pursued by Edgaras Riabko of Lithuania (15 points), Stefan Hagin on Germany (12) and defending champion Al Qamzi (9).