Dubai Kartdrome hosted the O-Plate Race Day on Friday with an array of prestigious prizes up for grabs, attracting the biggest karting fields in the region, which in turn ensured intriguing and exciting on track action throughout the course of the day. A list of the fantastic prizes given away is at the end of this article.
One of the most prestigious prizes up for grabs on the day was for the Senior Max Class with the winner scooping a fully paid factory drive at one of the rounds for the 2015 World CIK KF championships provided by Energy UAE Kart Team – worth in the region of AED 30,000. After a fierce duel all day, from qualifying through both heats, Patrick Hannah delivered a masterclass of driving around his home track to win the 12 lap sprint finale by a mere 0.219 of a second from Abdullah Al Rawahi and Giulio Peroni.
It was heartache for Emanuele Pagani who suffered technical issues while in a strong position but was forced to retire, but set the fastest lap of the race. Hannah, who started his racing career at the Kartdrome in the junior ranks, thus gets to race on the big stage with one of the most prestigious kart racing teams in the world when he lines up for Energy Corse in Europe.
The Junior Max Class was another closely fought affair, with a contingent of top British drivers taking on the UAE’s finest youngsters. In the end it was local hero Taymour Kermamshahchi who rose to the occasion to score a win which will go down as the best of his racing career thus far.
In the Final he fended off a concerted challenge from several drivers including highly rated Jack McCarthy and Olli Caldwell. The top eight crossed the line within less than a second, bringing an end to a nail-biting finale with Kermamshahchi crossing the finish line 0.307 of a second ahead of McCarthy and Caldwell in third, in his slipstream.
Sanad Al Rawahi scored a surprise victory in the DD2 class, overcoming pre-race favourite and world champion Sean Babbington in a tight contest. Although Babbington took an early lead he was hounded relentlessly by Piers Pakenham-Walsh who took the lead with a couple of laps to go.
Babbington fought back, but miscalculated his move on Pakenham-Walsh and punted him off. This gave Al Rawahi the break he needed to take victory, with Pakenham-Walsh recovering to take second ahead of Rami Azzam in third. Babbington pulled into the pits after the incident, his race over.
In other finals the winners were: Liam Crystal in the Min Max, Mohammed Al Habsi in the Micro Max and Emanuele Pagani in the Open Class. Other winners on the day included: Atef Al Barwani tops in both SWS Senior sprint races, Oliver Walton winner of SWS Junior Super Final, Samir Malas winner of the SWS Junior Final and Rashid Al Dhaheri fastest in the best of three Bambino Time Trials.
David Bright, assistant Kartdrome manager, summed up the day: “The UAE karting community really pulled together by putting up great prizes for this event. This in turn brought out the best of the drivers who delivered great racing, on an intense day which everyone enjoyed. A special thankyou to the international drivers who travelled to Dubai to be part of the second edition of the Kartdrome O-Plate, we sincerely hope they will spread the word and this event grows even more in years to come,” concluded Bright.
PRIZES AWARDED OVER THE WEEKEND INCLUDE:
- Energy UAE Kart Team to provide Senior Max winner fully paid factory drive at one of the rounds for the 2015 World CIK KF championships.
- Energy UAE Kart Team to provide SWS runner-up half day training with 2014 DD2 world champion Sean Babbington
- Energy UAE Kart Team will provide SWS Senior winner with a fully paid Rotax Max Challenge entry for the next Kartdrome round including a new set of tyres, complete race kart and technical assistance
- Swiss Hutless Karts UAE will provide a brand new, micro max rolling chassis, courtesy of Swiss Hutless Karts UAE with Rotax Kart Products providing 20% off a Micro Max engine for the winner.
- Scalextric slot car set for winner of Bambino class
- Dubai Kartdrome to provide Micro Max and Mini Max winners a party for 10 at the indoor
- TAG Heuer to provide watches for winners of Open Class, DD2, DD2 Masters, Junior Max, and to the runner-up in Max Seniors,
- Formula Gulf 1000 to provide single seater test session for Senior Max champion (provided he or she has never driven FG1000 before)
- Dubai Autodrome to provide Single Seater Experience for Open Class winner, a Clio Cup Experience for DD2 Masters winner, and an Audi R8 Experience to the DD2 winner
- Additional prizes for top five to be supplied by Rotax Kart Products UAE, OMP and Sodi Kart UAE.