Dubai, UAE, 5 June 2018: Hussain Umid Ali improved his championship credentials with a hard-fought Senior Cup victory in Round Three of the 2018 Ramadan Challenge on Monday night (4 June) at Dubai Kartdrome. Defending Masters champion Mohammed Ismail nabbed a crucial class win and Federico Al Rifai dominated the field for a Junior Cup triumph.
Ramadan Challenge Senior Cup & Masters
The Senior’s contest featured two main contenders on the new Hill Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome: Romaldo Labrooy and Hussain Umid Ali.
Labrooy struck first, topping the 34-kart qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:16.157, edging out last round’s winner, Anjum Shaikh, by 0.168 seconds to take pole. Labrooy didn’t waste the frontrunner position in Heat One; he kept in control and crossed the finish line over four seconds ahead of Hussain Umid Ali, who had done well to move from fourth position to second.
Ali improved in the next race, taking Heat Two by just 0.073 seconds ahead of Rami Azzam, with Labrooy trailing in for third. Bernd Romischer took advantage of the reverse grid to seize victory in Heat Three, staying just 0.207 seconds ahead of Masters driver Atef Al Barwani.
Over the course of all three heats, Hussain Umid Ali emerged victorious for Round Three. There have now been three different Senior Cup winners in three rounds. The win helped Ali’s title hopes, but Romaldo Labrooy is still in the lead with 145 championship points. Ali is 14 points adrift on 131 points for second-place and Anjum Shaikh is currently in third-place on 128 points. Only one more round remains to determine the Senior Cup champion.
In the Masters category of the Senior Cup, Atef Al Barwani has been nearly unstoppable for two rounds but in Round Three, the defending Masters champ, Mohammed Ismail, stormed back to secure a critical class win. Al Barwani is still in command of the Masters title with 99 championship points but Ismail has closed the gap, just ten points back on 89. Paul David Sebright is in third-place with 80 points.
Ramadan Challenge Junior Cup
Federico Al Rifai chased Patrick Debattista for two Junior Cup rounds but he finally got a win of his own. Debattista started well in Round Three by topping qualifying with a best lap time of 1:22.895, but after that it was all Al Rifai.
Federico ripped through three heats in a row, taking comfortable wins in Heat One and Three, and a close win by 0.383 seconds over Khalifa Al Qubaisi in Heat Two. Going three-for-three, Al Rifai was the clear winner on the night.
Despite the emphatic victory. Federico Al Rifai is still third in the Junior Cup with a total of 128 championship points. Khalifa Al Qubaisi is a single point ahead on 129 for second-place, and Patrick Debattista is in full command going into the final round, holding on to first-place with 157 championship points.
The fourth and final round of the 2018 Ramadan Challenge will take place at Dubai Kartdrome next Monday night, 11 June 2018. Championship trophies and prizes will be awarded to winning drivers.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Arthur Rosales & Aaron Meriwether