x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Giroix swoops for victory

Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix make it two wins in a row in the premier GTA class of the Cytech UAE GT Championship at the Dubai Autodrome.

Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix have had a great week in Dubai.
Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix have had a great week in Dubai.

DUBAI // Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix made it two wins in a row in the premier GTA class of the Cytech UAE GT Championship at Dubai Autodrome yesterday.

The one-hour endurance race, which was the highlight of the fifth UAE national race day of the season, was not easy for the pair in their TAM Auto Engineering-prepared House of Portier Corvette as it took a late overtaking move from Giroix to clinch the success.

In the early stages of the race al Azhari was involved in a tussle with Bassam Kronfil for first place.

It was Kronfil who led for much of the first stint from al Azhari, but the pair were both leapfrogged during pit-stops by Julian Griffin's Dodge Viper.

Giroix was soon on his tail in second place, but was unable to do anything about the Viper initially as Griffin was able to stay ahead with some good defensive driving.

But with only four minutes left of the race Giroix was able to overtake Griffin to secure the victory.

Al Azhari said: "This was a great win. My role in the first stint was to keep the tyres in good shape for Fabien. And when he got in the cockpit he did the business. Another good showing by our team."

There was a double on the day for the TAM Auto Engineering/House of Portier squad as Mohammed al Mutawaa and Jiri Skula powered to victory in the GTC Class ahead of the MSW Racing Porsche of Jon Simmonds and Phil Quaife.

The hotly contested GTC Class was won by Robert Cregan in the GulfSport Maserati ahead of team mate Joe Ghanam.

In the UAE sportscars races, which were also taking place, it was a good day for Tom Bradshaw in his Juno car.

The Briton was second in the opening race of the doubleheader and then went one better to stand on top of the podium in the second race.

Bob George had won the opening race in his Radical SR3, and he was third in the second race.

Jordan Groger, the series' defending champion, had a solid showing, with two podium finishes.

The next round of the UAE national race series takes place at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 16 and 17.

* Agencies