Dubai, UAE, 18 February 2018: Jack Bartholomew and James Pull of FFF Racing Team boasted their Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East championship prospects with a pair of wins at Dubai Autodrome over a race weekend (16-17 February) which also featured the Bahrain Superbike Championship, NGK Racing Series, UAE Sportbike Championship and the Radical Middle East Cup.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East
The single-make series featuring Lamborghini Huracáns returned to the 4.29-kilometre International Circuit for its second season at Dubai Autodrome
Jack Bartholomew in the #5 Lamborghini of FFF Racing Team was in excellent form early on, topping the first qualifying session with a scorching lap time of 1:35.768, pipping 2017 champ Axcil Jefferies by just 0.059 seconds.
In the second qualifying session, seventeen-year-old Giacomo Altoé of Antonelli Motorsport impressed the paddock by topping the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:36.217, a mere five thousandths of second quicker than Bartholomew’s teammate James Pull.
In race pace Bartholomew and Pull improved even more. The British duo took the chequered flag in Race One by 0.851 seconds ahead of another FFF Racing Team Lamborghini, driven by Taylor Proto.
In Race Two Carrie Schreiner and Axcil Jefferies of Konrad Motorsport did their best to challenge for the lead, but still fell short by 5.203 seconds to Bartholomew and Pull, their second overall victory for the weekend and top in PRO Class.
The PRO AM category had split results, with Glauco Solieri and Giacomo Altoé of Antonelli Motorsport topping Race One, and Schreiner and Jefferies of Konrad Motorsport claiming Race Two.
Taylor Proto of FFF Racing Team dominated AM Class with a pair of category wins, while Mark Proto racked up two Lamborghini Cup (LC) class triumphs.
Bahrain Superbike Championship
British rider Dijon Compton was simply unstoppable in the debut appearance of the all-Ducati series at Dubai Autodrome, despite a spirited challenge from Championship leader Ahmed Al Muyini.
Al Muyini, who also races in the UAE Sportbike Championship, was the early favourite to ride his Ducati 899 Panigale to victory on familiar tarmac.
However, Compton proved to be quite comfortable on the tight turns of the 2.46-kilometre Club Circuit at Dubai Autodrome. He clocked in a best lap time of 1:07.219 in qualifying, taking pole position by just 0.138 seconds ahead of Italian rider Saska Totaro. Al Muyini’s best mark was 0.706 seconds off the pace to put the Saudi third on the grid.
Compton and Al Muyini battled it out for the next two races, with Compton gaining the upper hand and winning out each time, taking the chequered flag by 1.462 seconds in front in Race One and 1.624 seconds ahead in Race Two.
NGK Racing Series
Jim Geddie delivered another solid performance for Dragon Racing, driving his Ferrari 458 GT3 for two race wins and topping Class Three over teammates Leon Price and Jordan Grogor.
Geddie faced a challenge in Race One with another Dragon Ferrari, piloted by John Sawbridge trying to chase him down, but Geddie held on for the win, just 1.679 seconds ahead of Sawbridge.
In Race Two Sawbridge teamed up with Zaamin Jaffer, but the two British drivers couldn’t catch up to Geddie, who took a comfortable win. It was another second-place finish for the #58 Dragon Racing 458 Challenge, but still a positive result with two Class Four victories.
The engine in the BMW E36 M3 of Jonathan Simmonds decided to pack it up in the middle of the first race, leaving Costas Papantonis to cruise home for two Class One wins in his Gulf Petrochem/Mouhritsa Racing Seat Leon Super Copa.
Will Morrison dominated both Class Two and the Renault Clio Cup with a pair of class wins over Umair Khan in a Honda Integra and Peter England, also a Clio Cup driver.
Class Six belonged to Mohammed Hussain, driving an Audi TCR by GDL Racing, and the Emirati also managed to place third overall in both races.
UAE Sportbike Championship
Riding a Honda CBR600RR, 2017 champion Mahmoud Tannir put himself in great position to defend his 600cc title, nabbing a pair of class wins on Saturday.
Tannir topped qualifying screens with a best lap time of 1:06.376, and then the Lebanese rider went two-for-two in the 600cc Class, each time being chased by the MV Augusta F3 of Fahad Al Gharbally, who finished second both times.
Yuri Jongkind topped the 600cc rookie class twice riding a Yamaha R6, and Nasser Al Shaiba, competing in the non-championship 1000cc category, held off Tannir for two overall wins riding a Yamaha R1.
Radical Middle East Cup
Last year’s Radical champ Jani “The Flying Finn” Hjerrpe and his Dream Racing partner Seppo Mantyla started the weekend well by cruising to a comfortable victory in Race One, a full 37.426 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor, Ian Roberts of Gulfsport Racing.
Their luck ran out in Race Two however, and a retirement by the #17 Dream Racing Radical opened the door for Jeff Curtis and James Edmeades of AUH Motorsports to take command of the race and the chequered flag. Roberts had to settle for another second-place finish.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Darren Rycroft & Aaron Meriwether