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Opening Round ESKC Junior Victory for GIS Team 1

Dubai, UAE, 14 January 2019: Nathan Pope, Saeed Al Zarooni and Sultan Kurdali of Gems International School (GIS) Team 1 seized a narrow victory over Nord Anglia School Dubai to claim the opening Junior division round of the 2018-2019 Emirates Schools Karting Championship (ESKC) on Monday night (13 January) at Dubai Kartdrome.

NAS Nomad, with drivers Taevan Stecyck and Lewis England, wrapped up the Nomad Class in a tight contest with arch rival Dragsters DXB.

Sultan Kurdali of winners GIS Team 1. Photo: Aaron Meriwether
Sultan Kurdali of winners GIS Team 1. Photo: Aaron Meriwether

 

Race Highlights

Federico Al Rifai was only one point short of becoming the first-round hero for Nord Anglia School Dubai.  His teammate was unable to attend the opening Junior race, so Al Rifai drove all four heats himself and, if not for a missing driving penalty, would have won the night.

Al Rifai won the first two sessions and he was the fastest driver of the night with a best lap time of 1:19.098 on the 1.2km International Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome.

On his own: Federico Al Rifai. Photo: Aaron Meriwether
On his own: Federico Al Rifai. Photo: Aaron Meriwether

 

Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) Team 1, with drivers Harry Hannam, Mohammad Durrani and Isaac HK, picked up the win in the third heat and GIS Team 1 nabbed the final heat.

A bit of luck and consistent finishes by racers Nathan Pope, Saeed Al Zarooni and Sultan Kurdali of GIS Team 1 would prove decisive when the final points of the heats were tallied.

Federico Al Rifai racked up 128 points for Nord Anglia School Dubai, but a minus 20-point missing driver penalty brought his final total down to 108 points.

GIS Team 1 finished with 109 points, pipping Nord Anglia School Dubai by a single point to take the ESKC Junior Round One winner’s trophy.  DESS Team 1 was very close as well, taking third-place overall and in the ESKC category, with 106 points in total.

ESKC Junior RD1 Podium. Photo: Aaron Meriwether
ESKC Junior RD1 Podium. Photo: Aaron Meriwether

 

In the Nomad Class, for teams of student drivers from different schools, veteran team NAS Nomad nabbed two heat wins, picked up 96 points and a narrow victory over Dragsters DXB on 95 points.  Wild Racers claimed third-place in the Nomad Class with a total of 64 points.

Click here for ESKC Junior RD1 Results

The next ESKC Junior division round will take place on Monday, 10 February at Dubai Kartdrome.

Report and photos: Aaron Meriwether

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