x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Dubai Kartdrome to host double-header

Final stages of UAE Rotax Max Challenge and SWS Sprint races to be held over as many days to give a 'festival feel'.

Kart racing is big in the UAE. Courtesy Al Ain Raceway
Kart racing is big in the UAE. Courtesy Al Ain Raceway

More than 100 drivers are set to be in action at Dubai Kartdrome on Friday and Saturday in the latest rounds of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge and SWS Sprint races.

The concept of two-day events was tried out for the first time last season and proved to be a success, and hence the format has been retained, with 19 races each day.

Ryan Trutch, the Kartdrome manager, said: “The double-header gives the event a festival feel, with just about every kart driver in the UAE in action during the course of the weekend.”

In the Rotax Max series, the action is in the DD2 series, where Maurits Knopjes will be looking to repeat his success at the opening round in Al Ain earlier this month.

The 125 Max category field this weekend has been boosted by the attendance of Sean Babington, the British and European champion, and he is expected to fight for victory with the championship leader Patrick Hannah.

Ten Junior Max drivers are expected on the grid and the reigning champion Pasqual Pook, who is representing the UAE at the Rotax Grand Finals in the United States next month, will be looking to extend his slender lead over Taymour Kermanshahchi and Giulio Peroni.

The reigning Mini Max champion Tehmur Chohan failed to score points in Al Ain and will be looking to bounce back at his local circuit, while in the Micro Max series the Omani driver Shehab Al Habsi will look to make it two out of two after winning the first round in Al Ain.

The Bambino series will run alongside the Rotax series for the first time in Dubai.

The Bambino drivers are ages five to eight years and take to the track in a time-trial format.

Saqir Al Qassemi, the Ras Al Khaimah-based driver, set the pace in Al Ain and he is favourite to repeat the feat and will be anxious to take home some silverware as the series visits the circuit he is most familiar with.

Meanwhile, there will be rounds of the 2013 SWS Sprint Series where the country’s top leisure karters are set to resume the annual battle for the honour of competing in the Sodi W-Series Grand Finals in France next year.

Youngsters will be in action in the SWS Junior LR4 category, with more experienced and seasoned campaigners in the SWS RX7 category.

Expected to line up on the SWS RX7 grid are Atef Al Barwani, Hadi Al Blouishi, Rami Joudi, Sam Zian and Hussain Umid Ali.

The SWS series in the UAE has been the domain of male drivers, but this is set to change as the Dubai-based schoolgirl Abi Birch will make her debut on the day.

sports@thenational.ae