- Team Emirates picks up second Corporate victory; ZOOM Racing Team takes Nations Cup
Saeed Al Mehairi, Mohammed Mattar and Ramez Azzam of Batelco Racing are now two-for-two after winning the second round of the Endurance Championship at Dubai Kartdrome on Saturday (29 April).
Team Emirates topped the Corporate Class and ZOOM Racing Team earned its first Nations Cup victory.
A total of 29 teams lined up for the famous Le Mans style running start of the race on the 1.245 kilometre Switchback Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome. The 600-lap endurance race started at 19.00 on Friday and took almost 13 hours to finish by Saturday morning.
Ramez Azzam got Batelco Racing off to a great start by topping timing screens during qualifying with a blazing lap time of 1:10.620, just 0.030 seconds ahead of arch-rivals CG Racing Pro and 0.051 seconds ahead of Bin Drai Karting Team in third.
CG Racing Pro got the jump on the pole sitter on the opening lap, but it only took a few trips around the track for Azzam to regain the lead for Batelco. From there it was a tight race between the two heavyweight teams, with Bin Drai Karting Team and ZOOM Racing Team intermittently challenging for the front as well.
Methodical strategy and relentless pace throughout the night kept Batelco Racing just out of reach of rival teams. Saeed Al Mehairi wrapped up the 600th lap and crossed the finish line 31.650 seconds ahead of Alban Varutti of CG Racing Pro.
The overall win gave Batelco Racing its second Pro Class victory in a row, with CG Racing Pro having to settle for second place both times and Bin Drai Karting Team also repeating its third place position on the Pro podium.
Team representative Ali Abbas of Batelco Racing remarked, “The team did a fantastic job. The crew and drivers followed the strategy from the beginning. We worked hard and pushed, and the strategy worked really nice for us.”
Team Emirates managed to top the Corporate Class for the second round in a row, despite early setbacks which had two Choueiri Group (CG) teams out in front for the first half of the race. The team kept consistent throughout the contest and eventually regained the lead, taking the class win.
CG Racing 1 took home second place silverware in Corporate, while IUM Racing claimed third.
In the Nations Cup, for drivers of the same nationality, ZOOM Racing Team achieved an upset victory over veteran squad Dubai Falcon Racing Team. ZOOM suffered a spin out on the opening lap, dropping down to last place on the grid, but the Indian drivers managed to claw back into the race and finish an astonishing fourth place overall.
It was a maiden Nations Cup win for ZOOM Racing Team, followed by the all-Emirati Dubai Falcon Racing Team in second place and Lukoil Racing Team of Russia in third.