x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sanad Al Rawahi holds on in Rotax Max Seniors against a junior

Sanad Al Rawahi swept the Max Seniors Class at the Dubai Kartdrome, but was pushed in the final by Dubai schoolboy Piers Pakenham-Walsh, a juniors-age driver who received special dispensation to compete in the race.

Sanad Al Rawahi swept all three races in the Rotax Max Seniors class at Dubai Kartdrome.
Sanad Al Rawahi swept all three races in the Rotax Max Seniors class at Dubai Kartdrome.

The Dunlop 24 Hours is in the Dubai Autodrome's rear-view mirror, but that does not mean action at the track has stopped.

With the combined Rotax Max Challenge and DAMC Karting Championship taking place at the karting venue, along with the SWS Sprint races for both Master Cup and Star Cup series, a total of 13 races were conducted on Friday.

In the Max Seniors Class it was Sanad Al Rawahi, the Omani teenager, who scored a trio of wins - in the heat race, pre-final and final - to improve his title chances.

"It was a good day for us," Al Rawahi said.

"We travelled far to get here and it is always good to win, especially taking maximum points from all the races is very good."

The Dubai schoolboy Piers Pakenham-Walsh received dispensation to compete in the seniors class, although technically he is still a junior driver, and finished second in the final, crossing the line just 0.275 seconds behind Al Rawahi.

Third was Raffaele De Lorenzi, followed by Alexandre Silanine.

Raed Hassan, who is better known for his track exploits in the UAE GT Championship, won his first final in the Max Masters class, with Andrew Fuller second and Perry Spruit third.

"I use this as training, but the racing and competition is tough," Hassan said.

"This is the first time I have had a kart that is 100 per cent and it showed in the result."

It was a familiar face on the top step of the DD2 podium, with Maurits Knopjes claiming a clean sweep of wins. The Dutchman, who ranks in the top 10 in the world in this class, was pushed hard by Arnaud Bouf in the heat race and the pre-final.

Oliver George gave chase to Knopjes in the final.

"It was a good day, but really no chance to relax," Knopjes said. "Each time there are new guys rising up to challenge me. This weekend it was Oliver and Arnaud."

The Junior Max class had three winners during the course of the day. Pasqual Pook took victory in the heat race, Abdullah Al Rawahi claiming the win in the pre-final and Cyrus Engineer taking the final.

In the SWS Master Cup, Rami Azzam won the first race.

Race 2 witnessed a five-way battle to the finish, with Paul Chatenay snatching the lead on the final lap from Sam Zian.

In the Star Cup, Philippe Valenza gave an impressive performance to win both races by a comfortable margin.