DUBAI: Dubai Kartdrome hosted the third round of the 2013-2014 UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship on Saturday as part of a double header weekend, with over 100 of the country’s top kart drivers in action.
After dominating the proceedings on the second round on Friday, the Energy UAE Kart team’s Sean Babington emerged winner in the Senior Max class again.
Local heroes Tom Bale and Ameer Hassan were expected to challenge the British ace Babington, but were luckless on the day as Bale suffered a DNF in the pre-Final which meant a back of the grid start for the last race.
Hassan took the battle to Babington early on in the race, but a technical issue forced him to retire while lying second and plotting a challenge for top spot.
Patrick Hannah made the most of the opportunity to take second place, with Alexandre Silanine claiming third place.
Babington said: “We started the weekend on the back foot with a couple of issues. We were struggling a bit with the grip, but as the event progressed we got better and better. In today’s final I managed to do three very quick laps early on in the lead and thereafter controlled the gap. All credit to my mechanic James Bean who worked hard all weekend to sort out the problems and make sure I had a very good kart. All in all it was a great experience.”
Raed Hassan was unbeatable in the Max Masters class, signaling his intent early on by claiming pole position before powering to victory in all the three races, including the final. Duncan Foster finished second with Abdulla Al Ali took third spot.
Hassan said: “Today was a great day from the start after a bad first day where I had so many problems and incidents. I worked very hard, especially in the build-up to this double header. I trained all week and this is a reward for the efforts. I am really getting used to the kart and by keeping out of trouble I managed this win. I am very happy and for sure I am targeting to win the Max Masters Championship this season. It will be tough because there are many good drivers with the same goal.”
The DD2 class was a three-way battlefield for top honours between Maurits Knopjes, Oliver George and Piers Pakenham Walsh.
There was little to separate the trio throughout and no different on day two.
Pakenham Walsh said: “Today’s victory was much tougher to earn than my first one 24 hours earlier. With my rivals on fresh rubber I had to work hard in the heat and pre-final, but once I fitted my new tyres for the final I knew I had a chance.
“Early on Maurits got ahead of me and I was running third. I hung back watched them battle for the lead, and unfortunately for them they had an incident. I capitalised on it and got ahead, then opened a small gap and then taking the victory.”
George took the pole position and won heat and pre-final, but in the final race it was Pakenham Walsh who snatched the lead and went on win the race. George gave his best in the final laps with a superb recovery chasing eventual winner Pakenham Walsh hard, but in the end he had to settle for second, with Knopjes third.
After settling for third in DD2 class, Knopjes bounced back and did enough to take maximum points in the DD2 Masters category ahead of Jonathan Mowatt and Patrick Jarjour, who were second and third respectively.
Pascal Pook took top spot in Junior Max class ahead of Giulio Peroni in second and third place going to Taymour Kermanshahchi.
Tehmur Chohan took top honours in the Mini Max class ahead of second placed Yahya Houston and Daniel Booth in third.
Shehab Al Habsi dominated the Micro Max class with three out of three victories including the final, with Jamie Day second and Ziggy Kermanshahchi finishing third.