DEBATISTA TAKES FIRST SWS JUNIOR CUP PODIUM AT DUBAI KARTDROME
Al Mehairi and Elmosi take top honours in SWS Senior Cup
The established order of the Junior Cup in the Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Races was given a shakeup on Monday night at the Dubai Kartdrome when upstart Patrick Debatista won his first podium of the series.
The SWS Senior Cup, meanwhile, was business as usual as veterans Saeed Al Mehairi and Gianluca Elmosi returned to the podium.
The first part of the evening belonged to young Patrick Debatista. Jake Anderson began the night on pole position with a best qualifying time of 1:27.582 but it was all Debatista from there. From fourth on the grid he powered through the field and pinched a Race One win over Anderson by 1.325 seconds. Omar Aswat was close behind to capture third place.
Patrick was even better in Race Two, sprinting away and leaving the rest of the field behind. Again he was the first to the chequered flag, with Omar chasing him in for second place, and this time Anderson securing third.
Going two for two, Patrick was guaranteed a top stop on the podium for the night—his first ever. It was an impressive showing to dominate a grid full of experienced drivers, including 2016 Ramadan Challenge Champion Kamal Agha.
“It’s so satisfying when you’re finally in the lead and you know there’s no one ahead of you.” said Debatista.
Jake Anderson was best-of-the-rest for the night, just barely beating out Omar Aswat for the second place trophy.
Once the SWS Seniors lined up to race it was a more familiar scene. Ahmed Al Hammadi topped the qualifying screens with a blazing time of 1:11.626, just .039 seconds ahead of Rami Azzam. The top nine drivers all qualified within a second of each other.
After the lights went out Race One quickly disintegrated into a feisty brawl in which multiple karts were cited for penalties. In the ruckus Al Hammadi dropped back, allowing the trio of Saeed Al Mehairi, Anjum Shaikh and Rami Azzam to sneak up into the lead. Saeed snatched victory 2.102 seconds clear of Ajum, while Rami and Ahmed trailed in for third and fourth.
After a stern discussion from the Clerk of the Course, the SWS Senior drivers were more disciplined for Race Two, although the racing was no less spirited.
Ahmed Al Hammadi, Saeed Al Mehairi and Rami Azzam broke away from the pack and remained bumper to bumper the entire race. Al Mehairi took control and managed to keep the other two drivers behind him. The Emirati ace crossed the finish line just .674 seconds ahead of Azzam, who was a mere .263 seconds in front of Al Hammadi.
After a convincing two wins on the night, Al Mehairi was assured a first place trophy. Azzam grabbed the second place silverware while Ajum Shaikh collected just enough points in the evening to pip out Al Hammadi for third.
In the Masters sub-category of SWS Seniors (ages 35 and older), Gianluca Elmosi collected his second victory trophy in a row, narrowly beating out Carsten Winter for second place on the podium. Usual front-runner Mohammed Ismail Ali had to settle for an unaccustomed third place trophy.
Afterwards David Bright of Dubai Kartdrome commented, “Tonight had quality grids with current GT and karting stars. It was great to see such close and energetic racing.
“It was also fantastic to have guest driver Florian Holzinger from Austria stay over from the recent Endurance Championship race to join us on the SWS Senior grid.”
Next SWS Sprint Race will on Monday, 7 November 2016 at Dubai Kartdrome.