5 November 2010
Race Report: Round 2 of the Cytech UAE GT Championship
Mohammed Al Mutawaa is seventeen years old, he is Emirati, he learnt his craft at Dubai Autodrome and Kartdrome and in his first ever Cytech UAE GT Championship race driving the brute House of Portier Corvette he powered to debut victory in the GTB Class at the Dubai Motorsport Festival race day.
Driving among the best drivers of the region’s motorsport community, including a host of champions, Al Mutawaa kept his nerve and said afterwards, “I want to thank my team House of Portier, Glenn Portier and belief in my talents. Also TAM Auto Engineering’s Motaz Abu Hijleh for providing me with a great car. All I can say is it was brilliant racing at this level for the first time and I am very happy with the result.”
After Al Mutawaa’s main challengers Jon Simmonds and Tarek Elgammal in the MSW Racing Porsche suffered gearbox problems and were forced to retire it was Cabell Fisher and John Sinders in the Ferrari 430 who cruised to second place in the GTB Class.
In the GTA Class Karim Al Azhari and Italian driver Diego Alessi shared another TAM Auto Engineering prepared Corvette to take overall and class victory, crowning making it a great day for the House of Portier team which bounced back from a disappointment in round one of the series.
Al Azhari, “Once again my team House of Portier and TAM Auto Engineering delivered a great race car. This Corvette is amazing and with Diego this is the start of our season and we aim to take the title.”
It was a reversal of fortune for, first round winner, Julian Griffin at the wheel of the NFS Racing Dodge Viper who failed to finish, but not before he challenged Al Azhari and briefly took the lead which prompted cheers in the pitlane. His lead was short lived as brake failure forced him out on lap ten.
Still unable to come find reliability with the their Ginetta is the Raed Hassan and Bassam Kronfli pairing. They are on par with the pace setters but mechanical gremlins have intervened to prevent a show of their true potential.
Ace British guest driver Rob Barff, driving the NFS Racing Lotus, won the GTC Class ahead of the ARM Porsche pairing of Paul Denby and Harris Irfan. The two finished second and third overall respectively. Third place went to Lebanese youngster Joe Ghanam in the GulfSport Ginetta.
It was heartache for Robert Cregan in the GulfSport Maserati who was involved in a first turn incident which eliminated NFS Racing Lotus driver Frederic Gaillard and brought out a Code 60 safety period. Cregan nevertheless managed to continue, albeit with damage, and was in the reckoning for a podium slot before retiring a few laps from the end.
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