2009/2010 UAE Touring Car Championship gets underway on Friday Heading the bill on this weekend's UAE National Race Day 1, at Dubai Autodrome, is the 2009/2010 UAE Touring Car Championship. The concept provides some of the best racing to be seen...
2009/2010 UAE Touring Car Championship gets underway on Friday
Heading the bill on this weekend's UAE National Race Day 1, at Dubai Autodrome, is the 2009/2010 UAE Touring Car Championship. The concept provides some of the best racing to be seen on track and this edition in the UAE is now more aligned with global Touring Car racing trends. The series will feature 3 classes, with the big difference being that only two wheel drive cars will be allowed to enter the championship and for the new season minimum weight caps will be enforced. The advent of big team participation has taken the series to the next level of professionalism.
In Class 1 the likes of House of Portier and DXB Racing have entered SEAT Leon Supercopas for their drivers Khalid Al Mutawaa and Jon Simmonds respectively. While a host of top privateers are likely to feature in among the big teams.
House of Portier driver Al Mutawaa is an HSBC Racing Academy graduate who is also one of the most promising emerging Emirati race driver. He said of his drive, "It is an honour to be given the opportunity to race in the premier class of the UAE Touring Car Championship in House of Portier colours. Glenn Portier supports UAE drivers and I intend to reward him with many wins and the Championship."
Simmonds, who also is the DXB Racing team principal, elaborated on the team's plans, "We will have a strong presence in the UAE Touring Car Championship with our Seat Leon and our old faithful Clio 172 Cup which is currently being rebuilt to her former glory. DXB Racing will also be supporting several of our customers in various touring car classes throughout the season."
Also in Class 1 will be Mohammed Al Arishy will be flying the BMW flag with the 330Ci model which last season proved capable of running near the front of the field.
Class 2 is again likely to be one of the most competitive racing classes on the local scene. Former Champion Spencer van der Pal will line-up with one of a host of Renault Clios. Others behind the wheel of the Frnch made cars include DXB Racing's Frederic Gaillard, privateer Nader Zuhour and sensational 16 year old House of Portier rookie Mohammed Al Mutawaa. Young Al Mutawaa, who is a graduate of the HSBC Racing Academy, is fired up for his Touring Car debut, "I am looking forward to racing in Touring Cars and I feel my experience abroad will help. It is a learning year for me but at the same time I want to win races for House of Portier."
Reigning UAE Touring Car Champion Mohammed Al Owais heads up the formidable Lap 57 Team made up of Hondas and also including his brother Omran Al Owais and Umair Khan.
Performance Racing Team will also be fielding a host of ultra-quick Hondas for former Champion Zlatko Mulabegovic, Khalid Bin Hadher, Arif Marazeeq, Issa Bin Hadher and Mohamed Bin Ghanen.
The scene is set for another explosive season of UAE Touring Cars with several drivers capable of winning races and vying for the title of Champion. Bumper grids are expected, with many Emirati drivers in race winning cars, and it will be no surprise if the battle for the Championship goes down to the last lap of the very last race.
UAE National Race Day 1 takes place at Dubai Autodrome on Friday, 16 October 2009, with the first race of the year to be flagged off at 11.30am. There will be no admission for race fans who will have free access to the grandstand and free access to the paddock which ensures that they are up close to the action. Also on the bill are the UAE GT Championship, UAE Sportbike Championship and the Gulf Sport Radical Cup.