DANNY SHIELDS DRIVES TO FIRST SWS JUNIOR CUP WIN
Al Mehairi and Ismail return to winning ways in SWS Senior Cup
Dubai, UAE, 22 November 2016: For the third Sodi World Series (SWS) event in a row, a Junior Cup driver has reached the highest step of the podium for their first time. On Monday night (21 November) at the Dubai Kartdrome it was Danny Shields’ turn to take home his first top place trophy.
Over the last year Danny has often been in the mix with the race leaders but an SWS Junior Cup victory has been eluding him, and with a seventh place time in Qualifying on Monday evening, the outlook for silverware appeared doubtful.
It was Enzo Al Azhari who lit up the timing screens early on with a best lap time of 1:19.553 to earn pole position. Alex Connor was right behind him on 1:19.795, followed by Omar Aswat with 1:19.829.
From seventh on the grid Danny Shields rocketed off the line in Race One and carved a path through the karts ahead. He grabbed the lead and held off his rivals until the chequered flag, just 0.173 seconds ahead of Seif Al Naggar, followed by the pole sitter, Enzo.
In Race Two there would be even more contenders for the throne as four drivers broke cover and clashed for the lead. The frontrunner position kept changing as Alex Connor, Omar Aswat, Samir Malas, and Danny Shields each manoeuvred to take control.
After nine aggressive laps, Connor came out on top of the scuffle, crossing the finish line a mere 0.245 seconds ahead of Aswat. Malas secured third and Shields trailed in for fourth.
When the points were tallied for the night Danny Shields won 71, pipping out Alex Connor on 70, just enough to secure a maiden SWS Junior first place trophy for Shields. Omar Aswat topped out on 67 points to safeguard third place.
Afterwards Danny said, “I’m very happy, I’m proud and I’ve had quite a lot of support from friends at school, friends from different countries.”
Competition was also fierce in the SWS Senior Cup, but this time the spoils of victory belonged to the more experienced drivers.
Multiple karting and motorsport champion Saeed Al Mehairi set the bar in Qualifying with a best lap time of 1:11.140. Abigail Birch was just off the mark by 0.266 seconds with a best time of 1:11.406. Ahmed Al Hammadi was also close with a time of 1:11.780.
Saeed Al Mehairi made the most of his pole position in Race One, controlling the race and bringing the kart home for victory. Anjum Shaikh did well to go from fourth on the grid to second place at the chequered flag, after a close scrap with third place Abigail Birch.
In Race Two it was Birch who made the best getaway and jumped out in front, followed right behind by Al Mehairi, Romaldo Labrooy and Hussain Umid Ali. The four drivers broke away from the pack and boxed it out, ducking and diving on every corner.
The veteran expertise of Al Mehairi was again too much, and he emerged from the brawl on top, crossing the finish line 0.255 seconds in front of Labrooy. Umid Ali shadowed in for third.
With qualifying and two races in the bag, there was no disputing that Saeed owned the SWS Senior Cup winner’s trophy for the night. Anjum Shaikh merited second place silverware while Romaldo Labrooy netted the third step on the podium.
Experience also paid big dividends in the Masters sub-category of Seniors (ages 35 and older), with Mohammed Ismail returning to the top step of the podium for the first time since winning the 2016 Ramadan Challenge Masters Cup.
Carsten Winter had enough points on the night to secure second in Masters while Kelly Fergal came away with third.
After the races David Bright of Dubai Kartdrome remarked, “It was a high level of competition throughout the night and we witnessed some of the closest racing in the SWS Junior Cup in a long time.”
“Danny has been knocking on the door for a while now; I’m happy to see him get that first Junior Cup win.” He added.