Winter returns to winning ways in Masters

 Dubai, UAE, 8 August 2017:  After a series ofprevious appearances on the lower steps of the podium, Ahmed Al Hammadi finally secured the top step with a convincing win during the Sodi World Series (SWS) race night on Monday (7 August) atthe Dubai Kartdrome.




Maiden SWS Junior Cup victory for Aswat

Dubai, UAE, 28 March 2017: Hussain Umid Ali was able to end Saeed Al Mehairi’s Senior Cup winning streak by a slim margin during the Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Races at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday night (27 March) with Juergen Schmitz claiming his first Masters triumph and Omar Aswat accomplished a similar feat in the SWS Junior Cup.

SWS Senior Cup Sprint Race

Hussain Umid Ali needed a mere 0.007 seconds to topple the dominant run of Saeed Al Mehairi. In what would turn out to be a significant qualifying session, Ali put together an incredible lap, topping the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:12.652, barely pipping Al Mehairi’s top time of 1:12.659 to take pole position.

Hussain made good use of pole, taking the frontrunner spot in Race One and holding off challengers until the chequered flag, taking the win by 1.261 seconds ahead of Rami Azzam, who managed to jump from fourth position on the grid to claim second place ahead of Al Mehairi in third.

Al Mehairi stormed back in Race Two, wrestling the lead from a pack of seven karts, and sailing home for victory. Abigail Birch did well to jump from fourth place to second with an inside cut of two karts on the final turn, finishing 2.070 seconds behind Al Mehairi. Rami Azzam and Hussain Umid Ali both lost track position while locked in battle, but Ali managed to make the best of the scuffle by salvaging a third place finish.

When the points of the two races were totalled, Saeed Al Mehairi and Hussain Umid Ali were level on 73 points each. Qualifying results were then used to break the tie, the separation of 0.007 seconds was just enough to secure the top step of the SWS Senior podium for Ali.
The contest was also close for the final spot on the podium with Rami Azzam and Abigail Birch both finishing on 67 points. Again qualifying results were required to break the tie and this time it was Azzam who won out, with his best lap time a mere 0.027 seconds ahead of Birch.

In the Masters category, for SWS Senior drivers 35 years or older, Juergen Schmitz managed his first category victory over Heiki Eelma in second place and Nader Zuhour in third.

SWS Junior Cup Sprint Race

While most Junior racers are driven to the Dubai Kartdrome by their parents, Omar Aswat takes a flight from Doha, Qatar to compete in the series.

Aswat said: “We have no go-karting tracks in Qatar which host championships. I only practice in Qatar and then fly in for championships here.”

He did well to boost his SWS rankings on Monday night with a strong overall performance. Omar made his intentions known early on, jumping to the top of qualifying with a best lap time of 1:22.632, which was just 0.011 seconds clear of Kyle Kumaran to take pole.

Aswat made great use of the frontrunner position in Race One, establishing a comfortable lead over the rest of the pack and cruising for the win, 7.592 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Patrick Debattista who did quite well to jump from seventh on the grid to take second place. Hugo Gid trailed in for third.

Omar faced more of a fight in Race Two, with Kyle Kumaran and Patrick Debattista also scrapping for the lead. It was close throughout, with Kumaran getting the upper hand and getting the win, just 0.755 ahead of Aswat. Debattista was right behind to take third place.

When the final points were tallied, Omar Aswat claimed his first SWS Junior Cup win with a total of 76 points. Kyle Kumaran secured second place on 70 points, while Patrick Debattista with 69 points had to settle for third place silverware.

Afterwards Omar said, “Overall win; that’s great, so looking forward to the next one. Now I just have to take this (trophy) back to Doha and show my family.”




Nineteen student teams compete at Dubai Kartdrome

Dubai, UAE, 20 February 2017: Swiss International Scientific School (SISS) Team 1, with brothers Keanu Al Azhari and Adam Al Azhari, dominated Round Two of the Emirates Schools Karting Championship (ESKC) Junior category at Dubai Kartdrome on Sunday night (19 February), with JT Racing topping the Nomad Class.

In the first of four sprint races, it was the partner team SISS Team 2 who took initial control with Constantin Reisch soaring in for the win 15.974 seconds ahead of Adam Al Azhari of SISS Team 1. Iya Seys of Dubai International Academy claimed third.

Harry Hannam of Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) Team 1 was the star of Race Two, winning the contest 8.463 seconds ahead of Theo Abram of Dubai International Academy. Adam Al Azhari of SISS Team 1 was next up to secure third place.

SISS Team 1 was in the mix for the second race. With Keanu in the driver’s seat, he cruised to victory 12.932 seconds ahead of another Al Azhari brother, Enzo, of SISS Team 3. Dubai International Academy put up a good fight, with Iya Seys nabbing third.

With Constantin Reisch taking over for SISS Team 2 in the final race, he proved once again that he is one of the quickest drivers of the series. He clocked in the fastest lap time of the event at 1:19.231 in a fierce battle with Enzo Al Azhari of SISS Team 3. Constantin seized the win just 1.594 seconds ahead of Enzo. Harry Hannam of DESS Team 1 trailed in for third place.

When the points were tallied after the four heats, SISS Team 1 claimed a Round Two victory on 116 total points. Dubai International Academy earned second place with 107 points and SISS Team 2 was right behind on 102 points.

Getting the win wasn’t always easy. Keanu Al Azhari of SISS Team 1 said: “I won my first race in Race Three, but I didn’t have so much luck in Race Four.”

Adam Al Azhari said: “It was very difficult, there was a lot of traffic in the beginning, and the second race, it was good; I was dodging everything.”

In the Nomad Class, with teams comprised of students from different schools, it was JT Racing, with drivers Theo Gid and James Bernard, who came out on top, winning three out of the four heats.

Kayne Cherian, Joshua McGregor, Vladik Dashkovsky and Elie Nassar of Dragsters DXB wrapped up second place in the Nomad Class, and the Villa Bandits, with Rio Sharman and Ronan Deegan, claiming the third step on the Nomad podium in its debut ESKC Junior race.

David Bright of Dubai Kartdrome said: “It was excellent to see striking improvement in all of the teams from the first round; the students are working hard and learning their craft.”

Round Three of the ESKC Junior Championship will take place on Monday, 5 March 2017 at Dubai Kartdrome.



Kelly Fergal tops Masters podium, Al Azhari wins the SWS Junior trophy

Dubai, UAE, 24 January 2017: After a night of tense kart racing at Dubai Kartdrome, Saeed Al Mehairi, Kelly Fergal and Keanu Al Azhari all emerged as the big winners at the SWS Sprint Races on Monday (23 January).

Saeed Al Mehairi, who secured second in qualifying and went on to bag two races in row, fought off tough competition from his rivals, especially in Race One, where he dropped down to third before recovering for the win.

In each race Al Mehairi finished less than two tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival, squeezing ahead of Hussain Umid Ali by 0.110 seconds in Race One and 0.132 seconds in front of Anjum Shaikh in Race Two.

After the SWS Senior points were tallied, Al Mehairi was the undisputed winner for the night with 80 points, followed by Anjum Shaikh in second with 66 points and Hussain Umid Ali taking third on 65 points.


Afterward Al Mehairi said, “I think it was a good race for everyone and it was fair for everyone as well. Good fun and a good race for me for the beginning of the year.”

In the SWS Masters category, for drivers 35 years and older, Kelly Fergal proved to be unstoppable. He was best of class in qualifying and went for two class victories in a row. Alan Adotey was best-of-the-rest in second place, while Heiki Eelma claimed third.

Now a regular contender for the SWS Junior category, Keanu Al Azhari’s hard fought evening once again demonstrated his position as an upcoming talent in the sport.

Jake Anderson topped qualifying with a best lap time of 1:23.249, just 0.356 seconds ahead of Al Azhari. However, Anderson was unable to exploit pole position in Race One, dropping down to fifth, while a group of four karts, led by Reisch Constantin, stormed into the lead.

Constantin took the chequered flag 1.822 seconds ahead of Zaid Haddad, with Al Azhari trailing in for third.

In Race Two Al Azhari pulled away from the pack and sailed home for a comfortable victory, a full 6.280 seconds ahead of Alexander Renner, followed by Zaid Haddad in third.

When the points of the two races were calculated, Al Azhari had a total of 73 points, four points up on Zaid Haddad with 69. Alexander Renner secured third with 67 points.

Al Azhari commented, “It feels great. Race One was pretty challenging but in Race Two, I found it easy to drive away from the top three.”

The next SWS Sprint Series night will be on Monday, 6 February at Dubai Kartdrome.



Karting stars Babington and Al Dhaheri among nine victory podiums

Dubai, UAE, 22 January 2017: With 31 sponsor prizes on offer, 101 local and international drivers were enticed to contest the 2017 Dubai O Plate Karting Championship over the weekend (20-21 January) at Dubai Kartdrome.

Top karters battled it out over two days to determine O Plate champions in nine categories, including Bambino, Rotax Max Micro, Rotax Max Mini, IAME X30 Cadet, IAME X30 Junior, IAME X30 Senior, IAME X30 Masters, IAME X30 Shifter and IAME X30 Shifter Veterans.

The combined grid of IAME X30 Senior (ages 15 and older) and Masters (ages 30 and older), was the largest of the event and included some famous names in the karting community.

F4 UAE driver Sean Babington, winner of multiple British, European and world karting titles, was the class favourite, but karting aces Abdullah Al Rawahi, and Mauricio Hernandez made sure it wasn’t easy.

Babington, outfitted with an Energy Corse chassis, earned pole position in the Pre-Finals over Tony Kart driver Tom Bale. Babington made a great getaway to start the Final Race and looked set to take the win until a collision in the backfield halted the race with a red flag.

When racing resumed, Babington came under pressure and almost gave up the lead on several corners. Once he fought off the challengers and regained control, Babington sailed in for the victory, 0.901 seconds ahead of Abdullah Al Rawahi with Mauricio Hernandez claiming third.


The fight for the IAME X30 Masters category was waged within the same race as Senior, and reigning champ Ali Al Najjar, also with Energy Corse, took top honours for the second year running. Dario Rubio settled for second place silverware while Nadia Khan earned third.

Young Emirati karting icon Rashid Al Dhaheri was likewise a dominant force on the weekend. Driving a Tony Kart body, he earned pole position in the IAME X30 (ages 10-12) Pre-Finals and went on to defeat the field in the Final Race, taking the chequered flag almost eight seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Ahmed Al Saadi for second and Mohammed Al Habsi in third.

Al Dhaheri also set a Dubai O Plate record, taking top honours on the podium four years in a row.

The future stars of karting shone bright in the Bambino class, for drivers aged five to eight. Abdul Whab Al Habsi, driving with Birel Art, was unstoppable throughout the event, topping three out of four time trials and taking home the honoured yellow O plate of Bambino Champion. Freddie Housley was right in the mix and earned enough points in the four time trials to take home the second place trophy. Bertie Gibbons collected third.

The racing was close in the IAME X30 Junior category (ages 13 to 15), with the top three drivers finishing with half a second of each other in the final race. Manaf Jaafar Hijjawi, piloting a Birel Art kart, crossed the finish line first, just 0.249 seconds ahead of Vaskelis Kasparas who was closely tailed by Denis Bahar to take third.

Both Rotax Max classes were also closely fought, with Energy Corse kart driver Diaraf Keinde nabbing the lead in the final two laps of the Rotax Max Micro (ages 7 to 10) Final, and hanging on for the win by just 0.949 seconds over Finn Morton. Alexander Renner trailed in for third.

With three laps to go in the Rotax Max Mini (ages 9-12) Final Race there was a heartbreak spin for race leader Ziggy Kermanshahchi, which opened up the contest and allowed Theo Kekati, with DR Racing Kart, to jump in take victory. Kamal Agha and Ali Al Shamsi also benefitted, seizing second and third respectively.

The combined gear-shifter grid of IAME X30 Shifter (ages 15 and up) and IAME X30 Shifter Veterans (ages 35 and up) witnessed a chaotic start and the entire pack of drivers stayed in tight formation throughout most of the race. A ten second penalty on race leader Tom Bale allowed Formula K driver Frederic Op de Beeck to take victory over Bale. Matteo Orengo got third. Alexandros Annivas survived the opening lap skirmish to bring home his Techno Kart for the IAME X30 Shifter Veterans O Plate.

All 2017 Dubai O Plate podium finishers walked away with prizes, with the winners receiving premium awards. Prizes included an Energy entry into the IAME Grand Finals and World Championships, Mach1/Roos Motorsport entry into the Las Vegas Super Nationals, test drives with F4 and Toyota TRD 86, Tag Heuer watches, GulfSport helmet paint jobs, Dubai Autodrome motorsport experiences and a selection of merchandise vouchers.

Dubai O Plate Race Director David Bright said: “The O Plate has been growing organically over the last four years, breaking records each time. Over one hundred entries this year was a landmark achievement.

“The turnout was so successful because of the fantastic prizes that our sponsors brought to the table, thanks to Energy Dubai, Roo Motorsports, Mach1 USA, Tag Heuer, GulfSport, Birel Art, OMP and IAME.”