ALI SEIZES NARROW SWS SENIOR CUP WIN
Schmitz claims first Masters triumph
Maiden SWS Junior Cup victory for Aswat
Dubai, UAE, 28 March 2017: Hussain Umid Ali was able to end Saeed Al Mehairi’s Senior Cup winning streak by the slimmest of margins during the Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Races at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday night (27 March). Juergen Schmitz claimed his first Masters triumph and Omar Aswat accomplished a similar feat in the SWS Junior Cup.
SWS Senior Cup Sprint Race
Hussain Umid Ali needed 0.007 seconds—less time than a blink of an eye—to topple the dominant run of Saeed Al Mehairi. In what would turn out to be a significant qualifying session, Ali put together an incredible lap, topping the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:12.652, barely pipping Al Mehairi’s top time of 1:12.659 to take pole position.
Hussain made good use of pole, taking the frontrunner spot in Race One and holding off challengers until the chequered flag, taking the win by 1.261 seconds ahead of Rami Azzam, who managed to jump from fourth position on the grid to claim second place ahead of Saeed in third.
Al Mehairi stormed back in Race Two, wrestling the lead from a pack of seven karts and then sailing home for victory. Abigail Birch did well to jump from fourth place to second with an inside cut of two karts on the final turn and finishing 2.070 seconds behind Saeed. Rami Azzam and Hussain Umid Ali both lost track position while locked in battle, but Ali managed to make the best of the scuffle by salvaging a third place finish.
When the points of the two races were totaled, Saeed Al Mehairi and Hussain Umid Ali were level on 73 points each. Qualifying results were then used to break the tie, and that microscopic separation of 0.007 seconds was just enough to secure the top step of the SWS Senior podium for Ali.
The contest was also close for the final spot on the podium with Rami Azzam and Abigail Birch both finishing on 67 points. Again qualifying results were required to break the tie and this time it was Azzam who won out, with his best lap time a mere 0.027 seconds ahead of Birch.
Hussain Umid Ali clearly enjoyed the competition. Looking over at Al Mehairi and Azzam he smiled and remarked, “I’m happy because I beat these two professional guys.”
In the Masters category, for SWS Senior drivers 35 years or older, Juergen Schmitz managed his first category victory over Heiki Eelma in second place and Nader Zuhour in third.
SWS Junior Cup Sprint Race
While most Junior racers are driven to the Dubai Kartdrome by their parents, Omar Aswat takes a flight from Doha, Qatar to compete in the series.
Omar explained, “We have no go-karting tracks in Qatar which host championships. I only practice in Qatar and then fly in for championships here.”
He did well to boost his SWS rankings on Monday night with a strong overall performance. Omar made his intentions known early on, jumping to the top of qualifying with a best lap time of 1:22.632, which was just 0.011 seconds clear of Kyle Kumaran to take pole.
Aswat made great use of the frontrunner position in Race One, establishing a comfortable lead over the rest of the pack and cruising for the win, 7.592 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Patrick Debattista, who did quite well to jump from seventh on the grid to take second place. Hugo Gid trailed in for third.
Omar faced more of a fight in Race Two, with Kyle Kumaran and Patrick Debattista also scrapping for the lead. It was close throughout, with Kumaran getting the upper hand and getting the win, just 0.755 ahead of Aswat. Debattista was right behind to take third place.
When the final points were tallied, Omar Aswat claimed his first SWS Junior Cup win with a total of 76 points. Kyle Kumaran secured second place on 70 points, while Patrick Debattista with 69 points had to settle for third place silverware.
Afterwards Omar said, “Overall win; that’s great, so looking forward to the next one. Now I just have to take this (trophy) back to Doha and show my family.”
The next SWS Sprint Race Night will take place on Monday, 10 April 2017 at Dubai Kartdrome.
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether