Report: Round 3 of the SWS Ramadan Challenge at the Dubai Kartdrome

Jul 31, 2013, 03:00 ET from Dubai Autodrome LLC

DUBAI, UAE, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Azzam steals victory from Al Mutawaa
  • Hard fought racing at the Indoor Kartdrome anti-clockwise configuration

Ramez Azzam gave one of his better performances on Monday night to take top honours in the third round of the 2013 Kartdrome Ramadan Challenge, beating Mohammed Al Mutawaa by the narrowest of margins in a nail-biting final.

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On the night there were nine heats, with each of the thirty drivers doing three stints, at the end of which the top ten points scorers progressed to the final for a 12 lap shootout.

Yet again a strong field assembled to do battle and getting into the top ten was an achievement in itself, as the tight nature of the anti-clockwise indoor configuration proved to be a tough challenge as overtaking opportunities were at a premium.

The likes of Rami Azzam, Oliver George, Saeed Bin Touq and Abdulla Al Ali - who would be expected to be fighting for top honours on any given race day - failed to progress beyond the heats.

On the front row for the start of the final were Ramez Azzam and Al Mutawaa, and it was the latter on pole who powered into the lead and set a blistering early pace. Credit to Azzam for hanging in there and actually getting side-by-side on several occasions. The pair were the class of the field and edged out a handy gap.

They circulated nose to tail until the penultimate lap, when Azzam dived down the inside of Al Mutawaa as they went into Turn 1, and managed to snatch the lead where he stayed until the chequered flag dropped. The duo crossing the finish line in tandem, it was as close as it gets.

Winner Azzam said, "It was a challenging track configuration, but I managed to stay out of trouble and starting on the front row for the final I knew I had a good chance. A couple of times I got very close to taking the lead early in the race. But I played the waiting game and took my chance when I saw the gap - and there weren't many. Now I look forward to the final and the goal is to take the title."

Al Mutawaa reflected on his evening, "It was tough out there. I knew Ramez [Azzam] was on my tail. I could hear him and just before he made the move, into Turn 1,I thought about it briefly but honestly did not expect him to attack there. He did and it was good and clean overtake. Congratulations to him."

The young Emirati driver, flying the Sky Dive Dubai colours, took home an extra trophy for setting the fastest lap of the night.

Behind the top two Hussein Umid Ali gave a strong performance taking third place, with Atef Al Barwani claiming fourth. The pair showing the kind of form that saw them qualify for the SWS World Finals in Paris held earlier this year.

Barwani admitted afterwards that he was racing with an eye on points for this year's SWS Series with the view to again representing the UAE in the grand finals scheduled for early next year.

"I knew it was tough to overtake. So I made sure I kept my place, stayed out of trouble to score some big points. The aim is for a place in the SWS World Finals. The evening went to plan," said Al Barwani.

Craig Shenton gave a good account of himself to finish fifth and score his best result to date in SWS racing.

Anas Al Halabi was sixth ahead of Saeed Al Mehairi in seventh and Sam Zian in eighth. The latter two normally found battling for podium spots, found the traffic tough going on the night. Moeen Al Sarraj and Ahmad Al Shamsi were ninth and tenth respectively.

Ramez Azzam leads the points standings, from Al Mutawaa, Al Barwani and Al Mehairi - and these four will go to the final round - at the Outdoor Kartdrome on 5 August - to battle it out for the prestigious title of 2013 Kartdrome Ramadan Challenge champion and the scene is set for an epic final night of action.

  • Links to high resolution photos from the event:

    Caption: Drivers and officials pose before the start of action on the night of the third round of the 2013 Kartdrome Ramadan Challenge

Caption: Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Ramez Azzam battled it out for victory in the final race of the night

Caption: Top three on the podium (L to R) second placed Mohammed Al Mutawaa, winner Ramez Azzam and third place Hussein Umid Ali

SOURCE Dubai Autodrome LLC