Dubai, UAE, 23 November: Dubai Autodrome kicked of the new race season with the first event on the main track on the weekend (22-23 November). The race event featured four different race series including the NGK UAE ProCar Championship, National Sportsbike Super Series, Gulf Radical Cup and the headliner championship, MRF Challenge, an open-wheel formula series from India.
Michelangelo Amendola surely enjoyed his visit to Dubai as the Belgian driver racked up three wins out of five races to complete a triple crown weekend.
Australia’s Dylan Young and Indian-American Yuven Sundaramoorthy both earned maiden victories to claim the remaining two races.
Amendola remarked, “It’s been a great week and yeah, feels good to win three of the five races. That was my target coming here to Dubai. I had to fend off others early in the last race, but after that, it was fairly comfortable as I opened up a good lead.”
NGK UAE ProCar Championship
In a battle of GT heavyweights, Dragon Racing captain Leon Price and his Ferrari 488 GT3 (#88) muscled two race victories away from the Lamborghini Huracan ST (#77) of teammate Jim Geddie in the second round of the NGK UAE ProCar Championship.
National Sportsbike Super Series
Twenty motorcycles lined up on the start grid to challenge the new national championship, including a surprise guest appearance by seven-time British champion Mike ‘Spike’ Edwards riding a Ducati 959 (#121).
Edwards was quick to demonstrate his extensive pedigree and upstage the local riders by taking the first of two races after a close battle with UAE champion Mahmoud Tannir (#10), beating the Lebanese rider to the line by just 0.582 seconds.
Tannir, riding a Honda CBR, struck back in race two, getting the jump on Edwards on the third lap and keeping ahead for the win by a margin of 1.738 seconds at the chequered flag. Tannir split the overall spoils with Edwards, but he’ll be happy to take home two 600cc Supersport category wins.
The showdown was equally beneficial for Edwards; the British champ took one overall race win and notched up two class victories in Ducati Pro-Twins.
Saudi ace Ahmed Al Muyini was also right in the mix, chasing Edwards and Tannir in both races on his Yamaha R6 (#47). Al Muyini secured third-place overall in both attempts and earned two class victories for 600cc Superstock in the process.
Radical Gulf Cup
Pakistani driver Usmaan Mughal (#23) beat out the French/German combo of Romain Lutter and Eric Zimmerman (#95) by five and half seconds to take victory in the first Radical SR3 race on Friday.
On Saturday Lutter and Zimmerman returned to challenge for the lead in race two, but again had to settle for second-place silverware, this time at the hands of the Finnish duo of Seppo Mantyla and reigning champion Jani Hjerpee (#17).
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Aaron Meriwether & Arthur Rosales