Report UAE GT100 at Dubai Autodrome The first UAE GT100 was held at Dubai Autrodrome on the weekend. Topping the bill was the penultimate round of the Total UAE GT Championship which saw Karim Al Azhari wrap up his sixth UAE national title when...
Report UAE GT100 at Dubai Autodrome
The first UAE GT100 was held at Dubai Autrodrome on the weekend. Topping the bill was the penultimate round of the Total UAE GT Championship which saw Karim Al Azhari wrap up his sixth UAE national title when he powered to victory.
Other winners on the day included Arushen Moodley (Aprilia) in the UAE Sportbike Championship 1000 Class, a win apiece for Jussi Hoikka and Pascal Grosjean (Yamaha) in the 600 Class. AUH Motorsport duo Jordan Grogo and Christophe Hissette scored a win each in the GulfSport Radical Cup.
Total UAE GT Championship: No stopping Al Azhari as he wraps up another title
In one of his best showings of the year Karim Al Azhari powered to victory in the UAE GT100 at Dubai Autodrome driving the TAM Auto Engineering prepared House of Portier Corvette. With the victory, the multiple UAE Champion, added the overall 2009/2010 Total UAE GT Championship and GTA titles to his collection.
The Dubai based racer said, "The key factor to winning this title was the great preparation and setup of the Corvette by the TAM Auto Engineering crew. We started strong, have run at the front at every race and now winning the UAE GT100. Taking the two titles makes victory even sweeter for me and the team."
Al Azhari won five out of seven races so far and takes the title with one more race to go. He went on to dedicate his victory to the people who have made his title challenge possible, "This was a team effort and my motto was 'Bring it on' and when they did we raised our game. So this goes to Glenn Portier and his House of Portier staff and of course to Motaz Abu Hijleh and his TAM Auto Engineering crew. As for me I am very happy to have delivered."
The UAE GT 100 was no walk in the park and nearly ended in tears for the team. After his compulsory first stop Al Azhari had a scare as a wheel worked itself loose and he had to return gingerly to the pits to have another wheel fitted.
A forty second lead was reduced to several seconds. The Corvette driver kept his nerve after resuming in fourth, before pulling the move of the season on the trio ahead swooping into first place in a single lap. Al Azhari controlled the race from then on and took the chequered flag from Julian Griffin (DXB Racing Viper) by a comfortable 14.5 seconds.
Al Azhari concluded, "We were confident that it would be a good day. We had a wheel issue which we resolved in the best way possible: by getting out there and retaking the lead!"
Griffin had an action packed afternoon as he had to fend off concerted efforts from Andrew Donaldson (Cytech Muehlner Porsche) and the Adu Dhabi Falcons Porsche pairing of Sean Edwards and Khaled Al Qubaisi. There was nothing to separate this trio as they slugged it out for runner-up spot.
In the end Griffin broke away to take second from Donaldson and al Qubaisi.
In the GTB Class Paul Denby started the race with an outside chance of raining on al Azhari's parade. Credit to the Khaleji Porsche driver as he did everything he could, but class victory was not enough to keep his title hopes alive going into the season finale. Nevertheless he is the 2009/2010 Total UAE GTB Champion.
Denby had a race long duel with privateer Harris Irfan in the ARM prepared Porsche. Irfan eventually finished second after a period in leading the GTB Class. Frederic Gaillard finished third in the DXB Lotus.
UAE Sportbikes: Moodley, Hoikka and Grosjean taste victory on the day
Arushen Moodley is more often than not unbeatable in the UAE Sportbike 1000 Class, with his main rival Scott Smart (Kawasaki) away competing in the UK, Moodley was left to power his Aprilia to two victories virtually unchallenged.
Aprilia team mate Abdulaziz Binladin, was in strong form and best of the locally based riders, taking second in races ahead of third placed Kawasaki's Hennie Sauermann in both races. Sauermann having his best showing of the season.
The battle of the day for top honours was in the hotly contested 600 Class with Pascal Grosjean (Yamaha), Jussi Hoikka (Yamaha) and Jason Burnside (Honda) inseparable all day. A blanket could have covered the trio as they jostled for position on just about every corner.
In race one Hoikka triumphed over Grosjean and Burnside. The three crossed the line almost side by side with an incredible 0.518 seconds separating the trio. In the second race it was much of the same thing as they scrapped for every bit of tarmac, eventually Grosjean edged ahead to take the win from Hoikka and Burnside. Again a mere 0.568 seconds was the difference from first to third.
GulfSport Radical Cup: A win apiece for Grogor and Hissette
The GulfSport Radical Cup has turned into a two driver championship showdown between AUH Motorsport team mates Jordan Grogor and Christophe Hissette. There is very little to separate the two who have been battling at the front of the field for most of the season. With the Championship end in sight Grogor has the edge on points very much dictating his approach to each race, while Hissette has a nothing to lose approach which makes for an intriguing finale.
On the day the two were again the class of the field with Grogor winning the first race as Hissette suffered with a technical problem. This gave Bassam Kronfli second place ahead of Emirati debutant Jassim Al Shamsi, taking third place in his first race.
In race two Hissette took the chequered flag after storming from the back of the field, while Grogor notched up second place with a cautious drive ahead of third placed Emirati driver Sultan Mahboubi.
The final round of the UAE National Championships takes place at Dubai Autodrome on 23 April 2010. Before then the Cytech UAE Touring Cars will be in action for the first time when they are part of the support programme for the forthcoming FIA GT1 World Championship at Yas Marina on 16/17 April 2010.
-source: uae nc