Ali Al Mansoori and Piers Pakenham took a share of the limelight as Dubai Kartdrome hosted the 10th round of the 2015 SWS Sprint Series on a hot night of racing, with high attrition and close contests throughout the big fields.
In the first of Monday night’s two SWS Senior Sprint races featuring a 30-strong entry, Pakenham Walsh showed top form to claim victory by 1.5 seconds over Al Mansoori, with Paul Chatenay in third.
Behind them Maz Nawaz finished fourth with pole winner Anjum Shaikh in his slipstream as they crossed the finish line. Schoolgirl Abi Birch impressed by finishing sixth after starting from 16th on the grid. Romaldo Labrooy was seventh and Ahmed Al Hammadi eighth.
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Piotr Karykowski claimed maximum points in the SWS Masters Class ahead of Adrian Jones in second place, with third going to George Hoyek.
In Race 2, Al Mansoori managed to break away to take the win by a comfortable 3.5 seconds, with Birch turning sixth on the grid to second place ahead of Chatenay, who bagged two third places on the night while Shaikh claimed fourth spot.
Behind them, Race 1 winner Pakenham-Walsh finished fifth after going toe-to-toe for most of the race with Craig Shenton, Labrooy, Al Hammadi and Allen Khoury – the five crossing the line separated by a couple of seconds.
Karykowski bagged the double by taking top spot in the SWS Masters ahead of Gary Jones in second and Adrian Jones in third.
Earlier in the day a strong field of SWS Juniors fought it out over a series of heats. Victory in Heat 1 went to Kamal Agha, Heat 2 to Giacomo Caccia, Heat 3 to Archie Sampson, with Seif Al Naggar claiming top spot in Heat 4.
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Sampson and Agha were tied on points after their two heats, but the win went to the latter who had recorded the fastest lap. Al Naggar was placed third.
In the Super Final it was Agha and Al Naggar who set the pace, with debutant Rashid Al Dhaheri and Matthew Elliot in tow. There was little to separate the quartet as they battled throughout the six laps and in the end less than a second separated them as they took the chequered flag – Agha the winner, followed by Naggar in second, Al Dhaheri third and Elliot fourth. Jakub Fitsimmons was fifth and Oliver Gaenssler sixth.
Al Dhaheri was particularly impressive in his first SWS Junior race meeting in the competitive series. Despite being among the youngest on the grid he signaled his intent by running at the front and battling confidently with the pace setters.
Australian Matt Hall clinched his maiden Red Bull Air Race victory in Spielberg, Austria.
Before British tennis fans gathered at Wimbledon each year on what is now referred to as “Murray Mound” to support Andy Murray, Aorangi Terrace was dubbed “Henman Hill” after former British No1 Tim Henman.
The ex-world No4, who turns 41 today, was Great Britain’s leading tennis star throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He carried the torch for British tennis until Murray came along and although he never won Wimbledon, he did make the semi-finals there four times, dazzling the crowd with his signature serve-and-volley style we crave so much on tour nowadays.
Henman, a winner of 11 singles titles including a Masters crown in Paris, also made the semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open in 2004. He won a silver medal in doubles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He retired in 2007 and is now a sportscaster.
1968: Saeed Anwar, Pakistani retired cricketer. Made 20 centuries in ODIs, more than any other Pakistani batsmen (47).
1973: Greg Rusedski, Canadian-born British former tennis player. Made the US Open final in 1997 (42).
1978: Homare Sawa, Japanese footballer. Captained Japan to win the 2011 Women’s World Cup (37).
1980: Samuel Peter, nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare”, is a former WBC heavyweight champion (35).