Dubai, UAE, 12 June 2018: After four gruelling rounds of the 2018 Ramadan Challenge, Romaldo Labrooy, Atef Al Barwani and Patrick Debattista were all crowned champions on Monday night (11 June) at Dubai Kartdrome.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager, David Bright, remarked, “We had a record number of participants and extremely close racing in this year’s edition of the Ramadan Challenge. Drivers were attracted to the new circuit configurations and the amazing prizes provided by our partners.”
“Congratulations to Romaldo, Atef and Patrick; they had to overcome fierce competition to stand on the top step of the podium tonight.”
Ramadan Challenge Senior Cup & Masters
After two years in a row of being runner-up, Romaldo Labrooy has known plenty of heartbreak in this series. Then he changed his mind-set and approach, attempting to replace previous aggressiveness with patience and strategy, and it paid great dividends for 2018.
Hussain Umid Ali won the last two rounds of Senior Cup, but it was Labrooy’s consistent driving and podium finishes which made the difference in the championship.
On his way to the 2018 Senior title, Labrooy chalked up one win, two fastest laps, four pole positions, four podiums and a total of 194 championship points. Ali put up a good fight and walked away with 181 points and second-place. Ahmed Al Hammadi was always challenging the leaders and for his efforts he earned 164 points and third-place.
On the podium Labrooy said, “I came into this championship really determined to win. Finally, everything came together.”
“I’m unbelievably happy.” He added.
In the Masters category of the Senior Cup, double Masters champion Mohammed Ismail couldn’t defend his title against newcomer Atef Al Barwani, who has been nearly unstoppable this year.
In the final round Al Barwani recorded his eighth SWS win of the season, nabbing three out of the four Masters rounds of the Ramadan Challenge. He ended the series with a total of 131 championship points to secure the 2018 title. Ismail had to settle for second-place with 119 points and Sam Naylor finished in third-place on 91 points.
After winning the title Al Barwani said, “Since I turned 35 my only goal is to get the Masters SWS overall and the Ramadan Challenge. It’s a blessing and everything is going good so far.”
Ramadan Challenge Junior Cup
Khalifa Al Qubaisi had been improving with each round of the Junior Cup and he finally got his first victory in the final round of the championship on Monday night, but it was not enough to stop Patrick Debattista from securing the 2018 Junior Cup title.
Over the four rounds Debattista was relentless, racking up two victories, three pole positions, four fastest laps, four podiums and a total of 201 championship points in his triumphant campaign. Al Qubaisi did well to take second-place on 179 points, keeping ahead of Federico Al Rifai who claimed third-place with 173 points.
Debattista was pleased with his prizes, which included a sponsored race drive with Energy Karts Dubai. He said, “I’m very happy about the prize because this is a real good opportunity to try these Rotax and IAME karts for the first time.”
Energy Karts Dubai, Brand Racing, IAME X30 Engines and Sun Divers all joined in support of this year’s series to provide a host of prizes at the end of the four rounds.
Senior Cup & Masters prizes included: a one-day sponsored drive in the Rotax Max Challenge with Brand Racing, dive courses and merchandise from Sun Divers, free test sessions for IAME Racing Engines, a Formula DXB experience at Dubai Autodrome and variety of Dubai Kartdrome merchandise.
Junior Cup prizes included: a one-day sponsored drive in the Rotax Max Challenge or IAME X30 Challenge with Energy Karts Dubai, introductory scuba courses and merchandise from Sun Divers, free test sessions for IAME Racing Engines, a complimentary ARKS test from Dubai Kartdrome and variety of Dubai Kartdrome merchandise.
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether