It became clear from free practise that the 20 minute qualification was going to be close.  And so it was, with the whole field covered by just 3 seconds. Kenyan superstar Tejas Hirani came out on top with an astonishing lap of 1:39.285 some three quarters of a second faster than Ahmed Al Ghanim (Kuwait) and Mashhur Bal Hejaila (Saudi Arabia).

FullSizeRenderHirani made a perfect start from pole to take the lead of Round 5, a 15 lap race on Dubai’s International Circuit with Al Ghanim and Bal Hejaila in hot pursuit. Most of the drivers had benefitted from intense coaching since the pre-season test in October and this became apparent when we saw five of the drivers running lap after lap on the same second. Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair made great progress during the race. After setting a best lap of 1:42.166 in qualifying he managed to improve his race lap time by two and a half seconds overtaking Kuwaiti Yousuf Al Bader in the process to finish the race in 4th position. There was also a great battle in the Master Class with Keverne McShine (Trinidad & Tobago) beating Neal Greer (UK) to take a class win.

Round 6 started with Hirani on pole position with Al Ghanim to his left and as the grid got away it was Bal Hijaila who was down the inside of Hirani. But disaster struck as Hirani encountered a critical engine problem and ground to a halt. This brought out the Safety Car to ensure that a recovery could take place and the race could be restarted once the car was moved back to the pits. After five laps behind the safety car it would be Kuwaiti racer Al Ghanim who would hold the lead to win the race from Saudi driver Bal Hejaila who had another Kuwaiti driver, Al Bader less than a second behind him. McShine who missed the previous day’s practise did extremely well to finish the race in 4th overall to win his second Masters Class trophy of the day.

Ben Potter

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