x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Al Azhari and Giroix near UAE GT Championship crown

The duo need only to start the last round of the season at Yas Marina Circuit to clinch the title.

The pairing of Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix all but secured the GTA class of the Cytech UAE GT Championship at Dubai Autodrome during the latest UAE National Race Day.

The duo need only to start the last round of the season at Yas Marina Circuit to clinch the title in their House of Portier Corvette after triumphing in yesterday's race.

It was not a sure thing for them, however. They were slow off the line at the start, allowing the Bassam Kronfli/Raed Hassan MSW Ginetta to get an early lead before al Azhari reeled them in to take the lead and control the race thereafter.

Kronfli and Hassan were second.

It was double delight for the House of Portier Corvette team as the GTB Class was won by Mohammed al Mutawaa and Jiri Skula for their fifth success of the season, leaving them in a strong position to take their category's top honours at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Motaz Abu Hijleh, the team manager for House of Portier, said: "We are very close to the title but there is still work to do.

"In the GTA Class, we need to start the race but the goal as always is to go out and win in the final race at Yas Marina.

"We will be aiming for a double title on the day with Mohammed al Mutawaa. We had a good day today and have set ourselves up nicely for the climax."

Joe Ghanem recorded his first victory in the GTC class.

Elsewhere yesterday at the Autodrome, Scott Smart did the double by winning both UAE Sportbike 1000 Class races on his Liberty Kawasaki, and Jason Burnside was a double winner in the UAE Sportbikes 600 Class.

Andre Ramdhanny finished ahead of Nabil Moutran to win the UAE Touring Car series race. Sean Stevens took two wins in the UAE Sportscar Championship races.

* Agency