Batelco Racing Wins 2017 SWS Endurance Cup
Connor, Shields, Agha and Azzam Crack the Top Ten Rankings
Dubai, UAE, 4 June 2017: Local Dubai Kartdrome drivers travelled to Paris, France last weekend (25-27 May) to challenge the top leisure kart racers from around the world at the 2017 Sodi World Series (SWS) World Finals.
Qualification for the event took place throughout 2016 with over 43,000 drivers participating, on more than 200 different partner circuits, in more than 50 countries around the world.
Only the best of these were invited to World Finals at the Racing Kart de Cormeilles circuit, near Paris. That narrowed the field down to 280 drivers, representing 35 nationalities and five continents, including the top racers and teams from Dubai Kartdrome.
SWS Endurance Cup
Forty teams challenged the twelve hour race for the endurance world title, but the real contest was between two local titans CG Racing Pro, with David Terrien, Alban Varutti and Piers Pakenham-Walsh, squaring off against their arch rivals Batelco Racing, with Saeed Al Mehairi, Ramez Azzam, Florian Garcia and Mohammed Matar.
Defending champs CG Racing Pro got the lead early on and managed to control most of the race. However, Batelco Racing, on a different pit stop and stint strategy, managed to overhaul the frontrunners and then hold on for the win. After twelve hours and 647 laps, Batelco Racing took the chequered flag 28.962 seconds ahead of CG Racing Pro.
SWS Junior Cup Light
Alex Connor, Kamal Agha, Danny Shields and Patrick Debattista represented Dubai in the Light category of the SWS Junior Cup.
It was the first international event outside of the UAE for Shields and Debattista, but both drivers were up to the challenge, putting in good results along with veterans Connor and Agha.
Alex Connor won numerous heats and earned pole position for the super final, his third pole for three years running. Unfortunately technical problems materialized at the worst possible moment, with engine power in his kart lagging for the final race. He defended as well as he could, keeping as high as P2 with only a few laps to go, but by the end of the race he had dropped down to sixth, one position behind his team mate Kamal Agha.
Agha made a solid advance all weekend, a strong contender in all of his heats. He also set the fastest lap of the weekend, which earned him special honours during the final gala dinner.
P5 Kamal Agha
P6 Alex Connor
P7 Danny Shields
P15 Patrick Debattista
SWS Sprint Cup
Rami Azzam, Hussain Humid Ali, Maz Nawaz, Anjum Sheikh, Gianluca Elmosi, Dario Rubio and Ekaterina Kazakova all competed in the SWS Sprint Cup.
It was tough going for the senior level drivers, with several drivers winning heats early on, but only two Dubai drivers, Rami Azzam and Hussain Humid Ali, making it into the Super Finals.
Azzam finished in tenth place with Ali trailing just a few places back in thirteenth.
P10 Rami Azzam
P13 Hussain Humid Ali
P21 Anjum Sheikh
P31 Maz Nawaz
P64 Dario Rubio
P66 Ekaterina Kazakova
P75 Gianluca Elmosi
Team Manager David Bright remarked, “I’m so proud of our drivers taking on the best SWS racers in the world and seeing them at the front end of the grids. With several sprint drivers cracking the top ten and Batelco Racing and CG Racing Pro achieving first and second in the Endurance Cup, it demonstrates the high level of racing we have in Dubai and the region.”
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Oleg K