x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Azhari seeks to carry on momentum

Karim al Azhari looks to continue his unbeaten run on Friday as the UAE National Race Day makes its final appearance of the year.

DUBAI // Karim al Azhari will be looking to continue his unbeaten run on Friday as the UAE National Race Day makes its final appearance of the year before the festive season break. Azhari, driving for Al Nabooda Porsche, has been unbeaten in the Yellow Hat Touring Car Championship this season and will be hoping to start his new year celebrations early with a sixth win on the trot. The UAE's Mohammed al Falasi, in his Corvette, is three points behind al Azhari in Class 1 of the championship and will be keen to close that gap in the three races scheduled.

Costas Papantonis, in the House of Portier SEAT, and the Mitsubishi of Raed Hassan will be challenging the top duo for overall honours on the day. Hassan has six points in Class 2 of the UAE Touring Car Championship, while Papantonis has been dominant in Class 3 with 15 points. Jonathan Simmonds, Mark Hannak and Mohammed al Arishy, are all involved in a fierce battle for the second spot with eight points each.

In Class 4, Zlatko Mulabegovic (Performance Racing Honda) leads the pack, just two points ahead of Mohammed Al Owais (Lap57 Racing Honda), while the House of Portier duo Alex Annivas and Khalid Al Mutawaa are close behind. In the UAE Sportbike Championship 1000 Class, the reigning champion Rod Scott (Al Yousuf Yamaha) is proving to be the man to beat again. His closest challenger is Saudi ace Abdul Aziz Bakr on a Liberty Kawasaki, while Juzar Motiwala (Honda) has shown promise of a podium finish. Scott leads by nine points from Motiwala with Adrian Mumby (Honda) third.

The 600 Stock Class looks set to be a battle between Hussein al Kooheji (Al Yousuf Yamaha) and Jason Burnside (Honda), with Alan Boyter (Vendetta Racing Yamaha) and Andrea Capoccia (Yamaha) not far off. arizvi@thenational.ae