SWS SENIOR CUP VICTORY FOR AL MEHAIRI
Masters win for Chevalier
Kumaran tops SWS Junior Cup
Dubai, UAE, 11 April 2017: Fueled by a narrow defeat in the preceding round of the Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Series, Saeed Al Mehairi bounced back to take a commanding SWS Senior Cup win at the Dubai Kartdrome on Monday night (10 April).
With a best lap time of 1:11.188, Rami Azzam opened the contest as the top qualifier, 0.127 seconds ahead of Saeed and 0.193 seconds ahead of Ahmed Al Hammadi in third position.
The three drivers began Race One fighting for the lead, but Al Hammadi ended up dropping back to sixth position after spinning out. The other two karts carried on and Al Mehairi took control of the race and held on for the win. Azzam harassed the Emirati on every turn but was still 0.598 seconds behind at the finish line.
In the opening lap of Race Two Azzam managed to block out Al Mehairi on the main straight but his lead didn’t last long. Saeed took back the frontrunner position while Rami dropped back into a pack of skirmishing karts.
Al Hammadi moved up to challenge Al Mehairi, sticking to his back bumper and waiting for a chance to overtake. That chance came, but Saeed defended it well and he managed to keep his kart in front until the chequered flag, 0.119 seconds clear of Ahmed. Romaldo Labrooy followed in for third place.
After the race points were computed, Saeed Al Mehairi reclaimed his spot on the top step of the SWS Senior Cup podium with 80 points. Ahmed Al Hammadi earned 65 points and second place, just one point ahead of Rami Azzam who claimed third.
Five karts were hit with penalties in the second race and Al Mehairi was grateful not to have been caught up in the drama. He said, “Things happen sometimes in a race but I’m glad that everyone is happy now. Even after the race they were shaking hands, which is really good.”
Newcomer Pierre Oliver Chevalier made an instant impact in the Masters category, taking top honours over veteran Heiki Eelma in second place. Adrian Jones secured third.
SWS Junior Cup
Kyle Kumaran has grand ambitions to compete in the next SWS World Finals, and a dominant double win on Monday night at Dubai Kartdrome was exactly what he needed to get a step closer to that dream.
He didn’t start the evening as planned, as two rivals managed to get ahead of him in qualifying. Ahad Minhas topped the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:21.431, which was 0.307 seconds better than Hugo Gid and 0.318 seconds better than Kumaran.
Everything changed on the opening lap of Race One, with Minhas and Gid dropping back and Kumaran getting away clean. Kayne Cherian came up from fourth and Alexander Renner all the way from sixth on the grid to battle it out up front with Kumaran.
The three drivers kept scrapping the entire race, with Alexander and Kyle emerging side by side in the last corner of the last lap. Kumaran nosed ahead for the win, just 0.158 seconds ahead of Renner, with Cherian claiming third.
Kyle took that momentum into Race Two, securing the lead and then fighting off challenges from Patrick Debattista and Hugo Gid. He held on for victory, crossing the finish line 0.786 seconds ahead of Debattista, with Gid another 0.724 seconds behind in third place.
After points were tallied from the two races, Kyle Kumaran was the clear SWS Junior Cup winner on 80 points, while Patrick Debattista and Alexander Renner were tied at 67 points each. Renner’s qualifying time of 1:22.005 was 0.143 seconds better than Debattista, which was just enough to settle the tie and reward Renner with second place silverware while Debattista was obliged to take third.
Despite going two for two on the night, Kumaran acknowledged the tenacity of his rivals. He said, “The competition was pretty stiff; I was lucky to get up front so quickly.”
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether