Dubai, UAE, 14 December 2019: The Emirates Group Karting Club (EGKC) traded one title for another as one of their two teams, Emirates Racing (#8), claimed its first Pro Championship on Saturday during the final round of the Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Championship Powered by Motorsport Wheels, while its sister squad, Team Emirates (#9), fell short in a close championship battle with LD Russia (#18) for the Corporate crown.
After 1049 gruelling laps on the demanding Monaco circuit configuration at Dubai Kartdrome and 24 hours of endurance racing, Arjun Manjunath crossed the finish line three laps ahead of rival Bin Drai Karting Team to take the Round Four victory for Emirates Racing and claim the 2019 Pro Championship.
EGKC Team Principal Redza Jamil said, “The drivers were giving their all. It’s a very physically demanding track and towards the end you could see the drivers were just getting so exhausted.”
2019 Pro Championship
Arjun Manjunath, Romaldo Labrooy, Ramez Azzam and Tom Bale of Emirates Racing collected 175 championship points over four rounds and denied Bin Drai Karting Team, with 163 points, and chance to defend the 2018 Pro title.
Cambridge Middle East Interiors (#20), on 120 points, was within striking distance going into the final contest but a quiet P17 finish in Round Four meant the team had to settle for third-place in the Pro championship.
2019 Corporate Championship
Dmitry Levin, Konstantin Mandrikov, Victor Agafanov and Marat Gubaidullin of LD Russia pushed for the lead during the night but by morning had slipped down to seventh overall. However, the all-Russia squad could still celebrate as the Corporate championship leader, Team Emirates, struggled throughout the race and only finished on P11.
LD Russia, with 170 championship points, won its first Corporate title by just two points over Team Emirates on 168 points. Redline Racing (#11) tallied up 138 points over the year and eclipsed another LD team, Pride Russia (#17) on 136 points, to claim the final spot on the Corporate podium.
2019 Nations Cup Championship
The speedy pilots of LD Russia managed to secure a big haul of trophies this year taking their first Corporate crown as well as defending their Nations Cup title from 2018.
The Russian drivers made it look easy, racking up 168 championship points over four rounds to claim the third Nations Cup (2016, 2018, 2019) for the team. Saudi squad Seven Racing (#19) missed the opening race of the year and, on 106 points, could not catch up by the final round.
LD Russia Team Manager Kirill Chebanov said, “We have tears for this win; it’s wonderful.”
All-star Spanish visitors FA Racing (#14) with drivers Fernando Alonso, Pedro de le Rosa, Alberto Albilares and Ángel Burgueño, impressed the local teams by taking pole position and then finishing in third-place overall. They won the Nations Cup category for Round Four and placed third in the championship with 60 points.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright said, “Fernando Alonso and his friends of FA Racing definitely had their chances to win Round Four overall and they did well to finish third and take home the Nations Cup. Alonso also claimed Pole Position and the Fastest Lap with a record-setting time of 1:14.839 on the Monaco circuit.”
“The team spirit and professionalism of FA Racing was inspiring to everyone and we look forward to having them back next year.”
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Aaron Meriwether & Arthur Rosales