x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Al Dhaheri moves clear at top of the DD2 class

Mohammed al Dhaheri boosted his hopes of winning the DD2 Class of the Rotax karting championship by triumphing in Al Ain.

Mohammed al Dhaheri has boosted his hopes of representing the UAE for a second successive year in international competition following his victory in the latest round of the DD2 class of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge at the weekend.

The Emirati driver represented his country in last year's Grand Finals, which were held at the La Conca circuit in Italy last November, and he is in pole position to repeat the feat this year after winning the ninth round of the championship at the Al Ain Ain Raceway on Friday.

There is the added incentive for the winner of this year's championship as Al Ain Raceway won the right to stage this year's Grand Finals and will be hosting the event at a yet to be confirmed date in November.

Al Dhaheri's cause was helped by the fact that his closest rival in the DD2 championship, Sheikh Khalid Al Nahyan, was unable to compete yesterday, and he took full advantage of that absence to move 58 points clear in the standings with just three rounds of the series to go.

While al Dhaheri led from the front throughout the event, Ashraf Raza fought hard with Patrick Jarjour to claim a well deserved second place, leaving Jarjour to take the final place on the podium.

Al Dhaheri's victory has put him 58 points ahead with three rounds to go.

The Senior Max and Max Masters class - the biggest field of the day - saw another lights-to-flag victory for Maurits Knopjes. The Oman Karting Team's Sanad al Rawahi pushed Knopjes all the way to the line but had to be happy. Nikolaus Dedic and Andrew Fuller provided one of the most entertaining battles of the day, as for the first half of the final Fuller had to vigorously defend from the hard charging Dedic.

Dedic would cross the line fourth overall and third in class, with Fuller fifth overall and second in class.

Arnoud Bouf drove a solitary race to third overall to take victory in the Masters category.

In the Junior Max class, Abdullah al Rawahi got one over on his title rival Piers Pakenham-Walsh.

The latter was up against it after going off at the first corner, but charged hard through the field to take fifth place, allowing al Rawahi to extend his slim lead in the title race.

Cyrus Engineer and Patrick Hannah put on a superb show in their battle for second place. Hannah defended second up until the penultimate corner of the final lap when Engineer used the slipstream to squeeze by and claim second behind al Rawahi.