Dubai, UAE, 9 January 2017: Anjum Shaikh, Atef Al Barwani and Patrick Debattista all kicked off the 2018 Sodi World Series (SWS) season with wins on Monday night (8 January) at Dubai Kartdrome.
SWS Senior Cup & Masters
After a very successful 2017 campaign, Anjum Shaikh has carried the winning momentum into 2018 to take the first race of the season.
Shaikh was just off the mark in qualifying, dropping to second on the grid after Rami Azzam pipped the Indian driver by just 0.180 seconds and clocking in a best last time of 1:11.704 to nab pole position.
After that the night belonged to Shaikh. He went on to win both heats, taking heat one by 0.411 seconds over Azzam and then securing heat two in the last few laps, crossing the finish line a mere 0.067 seconds in front of Ahmed Al Hammadi.
In winning both heats Anjum Shaikh claimed the full 80 points for the contest and took home the SWS Senior Cup first place trophy. Rami Azzam put in a spirited battle but had to settle for second place on 69 points. Ahmed Al Hammadi also collected 69 points, but he was dropped to the third step of the podium due to Azzam’s higher marks in qualifying.
In the Masters category, for drivers 35 years or older, multiple SWS champion Atef Al Barwani proved he is still on top of his game. The Emirati dominated the Masters field and claimed two class victories, collecting first place on 55 points.
The next two Masters drivers were a distant 17 points behind, both on 38 points total, with Redza Jamil securing second place and Enrique Gluckmann claiming third.
SWS Junior Cup
Veteran racer Patrick Debattista made steady improvement throughout the 2017 season and in starting the new year he delivered a near perfect performance on the night.
Debattista was hot from the start, jumping to the top of qualifying screens with best lap time of 1:22.879, a full seven-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival, Federico Al Rifai.
Debattista then took full advantage of pole, going from lights-out to victory, taking the chequered flag just 0.539 seconds ahead of newcomer Andrey Ouziel in heat one.
Alex Wareing finished in fourth place in the first heat but fared much better in the second. He managed to sneak in front and win heat two by 0.225 seconds over Debattista. Ouziel was again in the mix to claim third.
When the final points were tallied, Patrick Debattista bagged the first SWS Junior Cup win of the new season with 76 points. Alex Wareing came in second place on 71 points and rookie Andrey Ouziel impressed all by earning his first karting trophy ever by claiming third place with 69 points.
Article & Photos: Aaron Meriwether