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Joe Oxley, left, on his way to his maiden victory in the Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship race at Dubai Autodrome on Friday. photo courtesy of Dubai Autodrome
Joe Oxley, left, on his way to his maiden victory in the Motorcity UAE Sportbike Championship race at Dubai Autodrome on Friday. photo courtesy of Dubai Autodrome

Grogor and Loffreda go the distance at Dubai Autodrome

Jordan Grogor and Ludovic Loffreda won the inagural NGK 300 endurnace race while Abdulaziz Binladen continued his sportbike dominance with twin victories at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday.

DUBAI // The pairing of Jordan Grogor and Ludovic Loffreda won the inaugural NGK 300 endurance race at Dubai Autodrome on Friday.

The pair came home first in their Radical SR3 car in the event, which has been designed as a longer format, rather than the traditional sprint races, in an attempt to encourage more cars and drivers to compete in races in the UAE.

The pair of Rob Barff and Leon Price led early in the race in their Dragon Racing Ferrari, but a power-steering problem forced them to the pits, and they were sidelined after only eight laps.

The focus turned to the battle between the Radicals, which developed into a battle between Loffreda and Grogor, who were chased by the pair of Amro Al Hamad and Edward Jones.

In the second half of the race, with Grogor behind the wheel, he was being reeled in by Jones, with the Dubai schoolboy pulling off a great move to move to the front in his Radical.

But the joy did not last long as his car sputtered to a halt without fuel, gifting the lead back to Grogor, who went on to win ahead of Maurice Faber, who drove without a partner.

Grogor said: "It was a great race. We are very pleased to win after a good battle. We had some problems of the car, but managed to overcome these.

"My teammate Ludovic handed me the car in the lead and that was great. From then onwards I was able to do the business. We're happy and I dedicate this victory to my teammate."

Also on Friday, Abdulaziz Binladen maintained his domination of the 1000cc category of the UAE Sportbikes Championship as he won both races.

He was chased hard in each race by Alan Boyter on a Kawaski. In the first race, Damien van Blerk was third on a Ducati, with Steve Blackney taking third place in Race 2 on his Kawasaki.

Binladen said: "It was a really good day for me. The bike was great, the track is in top shape."

Rob Nicholas and Joe Oxley recorded victories in the 600cc class.

It was a big day for Oxley; the victory was his first at the UAE national level. He had an impressive recovery after he collided with the defending champion Mahmoud Tannir in the first race and crashed out.

But he held off a strong challenge from Tannir in the second race to prevail.

Oxley said: "I got a fantastic start and was running second overall. I was really pushing, riding the wheels off it. After the halfway mark, I thought I had a big enough lead and relaxed a little, but then Tannir came past me. I put my head down again andw reeled him back in, we changed positions and I won.

"I am absolutely delighted as I have come close a few times."

sports@thenational.ae

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