Dubai, UAE, 26 February 2019: Senior Cup driver Hussain Umid Ali received a tough challenge from Ahmed Al Hammadi on Monday night (25 February) at Dubai Kartdrome, but Ali still managed to come out on top and maintain his perfect run for 2019. In the Junior Cup division, Federico Al Rifai was even more dominant, stretching his SWS unbeaten run to five. Benjamin Trespe was the only driver to upset the traditional order, earning his first triumph in the Masters category of the Senior Cup.
SWS Senior Cup and Masters Highlights
The competition amongst the 34 karts on the Senior Cup grid is always fierce but, this year, Hussain Umid Ali has managed to repeatedly beat the odds with consistent drives.
Rami Azzam edged Ali in qualifying by just two hundredths of a second to post a best lap of 58.215 on the Drop Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome, but Ali would come back stronger in the first heat.
Azzam fell back to fourth in Race One, with Ahmed Al Hammadi, Atef Al Barwani and Hussain Umid Ali moving up and making it an all-Emirati charge for the chequered flag. Ali crossed the finish line first, just 0.398 seconds in front of Al Barwani.
Al Hammadi and Ali would clash again in the next race, with Al Barwani dropping out of the fight and Anjum Shaikh moving up from sixth on the grid to also challenge for the lead. Al Hammadi took the win, coasting in almost a full second clear of Shaikh, with Ali another half-second behind.
After the points for the two races were calculated, Ali and Al Hammadi were tied up with 73 points each. Hussain Umid Ali’s better qualifying position (P2) over Al Hammadi (P4) broke the deadlock to give Ali his third consecutive SWS Senior Cup win. Shaikh claimed third on 65 points.
The Masters category of the Senior Cup is wide open this year, and each of the three rounds contested so far has witnessed a different driver standing on the top step of the podium. Benjamin Trespe (33 points) added his name to the winner’s list with a narrow 2-point class victory over last round’s victor Greg Watt (31 points). David Zavadescu (27 points) added another third-place trophy to go with the silverware he earned on his last outing.
SWS Junior Cup Highlights
Who can stop Federico Al Rifai? Junior Cup contenders Nathan Pope, Sultan Kurdali, Randy Nader and Yashish Manohar have all taken their shot this year, but so far Al Rifai has yet to be toppled.
With a top time of 1:02.387 on the Drop Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome, Nathan Pope may have bested Al Rifai in the qualifying session, but the well-earned pole position would matter little in the next two race heats.
Federico rattled off two victories in a row, each by a comfortable margin over his rivals. The real fight was the battle for P2 table scraps, with Kurdali cleaning up in Race One and Nader doing likewise in Race Two.
After the points of the two races were computed, Federico Al Rifai was the undisputed victor, having collected the full 80 points available. Sultan Kurdali claimed second-place on 65 points, a mere one point clear of Randy Nader in third with 64 points.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: CK Designs