Having qualified on Pole Position for Round 9 of the UAE’s single seater championship by just 0.168 ahead of Kuwaiti racer Ahmed Al Ghanim, 16 year old Tejas Hirani lined up for the first of two 50km races this weekend.
But as the red lights went out it was Al Ghanim who made the better start from P2 with Hirani tucking in behind with the huge task of getting past. Saudi’s Mashuur Bal Hejaila also made a good start as did Kuwaiti Yousef Al Bader so they also had a battle for 3rd. Going into Turn 10 on the second lap Hirani picked up the tow, made his move, Al Ghanim blocked, Hirani went down the inside and the cars came together with bits of bodywork flying in all directions! But it was the boy from Nairobi that came out on top and took the checkered flag, with Al Ghanem finishing in second and Bal Hejaila picking up another 3rd place trophy. Hirani’s fastest lap of 2:01.302 broke the GP Circuit lap record by more than 3 tenths of a second!
Race two was to be one of the best FG1000 races the Dubai Autodrome had seen as again Al Ghanim blasted past Hirani but this time with Bal Hejaila very close behind them as they all went side by side down to Turn 1. But at the end of the first lap it was Hirani, Al Ghanim, Bal Hejaila , Al Zubair, Al Bader and Greer pretty much nose to tail.
On the second lap Kuwaiti driver Yousuf Al Bader got past young AlFaisal and started to real in Bal Hejaila. Amazingly, by lap 5 the first five drivers were all running on the same second laptime (2:02) around this 5.4km Grand Prix circuit and on lap 7 Al Bader recorded the fastest lap so far at 2:01.866 which was better than the fastest lap set in the Porsche GT3 Cup race by his compatriot Zaid Ashkanani who spent much of the weekend in the Formula Gulf 1000 camp with his Kuwaiti friends.
Unfortunately, the pace got too hot for Al Bader as he spun out of contention on lap 8. Up front Hirani was closing the gap to Al Ghanem and on the last lap he made his move going into Turn 10 and took the lead which he only had to hold for 6 more corners to take the win by just 18 hundredths of a second. Bal Hejaila finished in third, but with Al Zubair closing extremely rapidly on him just a second behind at the end.
Many people commented that these young drivers put on the best race of the day and were looking forward to seeing them in action again at Yas Marina Circuit on 13th March.