2009 DAMC Sprint Challenge Round 1 Report
A small but formidable field lined up for the opening round of the 2009 DAMC Sprint Challenge held under floodlights at Dubai Autodrome, Club Circuit configuration, on Thursday 21 May 2009.
UAE Touring Car regular Julian Griffin (DXB Racing Porsche GT3 RS) was the class of the car field and ended the night fastest by almost two seconds. He took overall top honours, Class B victory and also won the inaugural Sprint Shootout at the end of the evening, which pitted the top three runners in the car class for a winner takes all one lap challenge. Second place went to Red Line Challenge Champion Aref Ramli (Mitsubishi Evo), with third place going to debutant Murat Binici (Corvette Z06).
Other winners in the car classes on the night included: Class B Abdul Hamid Al Awadi (Honda Civic), Class C Keith Alderson (Lotus Exige) and Class F Geoff Forster (Caterham 7SV).
The much anticipated two wheel battle between current Stock 600 UAE Sportbike Class Champion Hussein Al Kooheji and reigning DAMC Sprint Challenge Champion Hennie Sauerman did not materialise. Al Kooheji was entered to ride a Yamaha R1 but due to unavailability arrived on a brand new Suzuki (GSXR 1000) which he subsequently dropped on his warm up lap, rendering him out of contention.
Sauerman on the Liberty Kawasaki XZ10R had his hands full with an on form Rob Nicholas (Honda CBR 1000RR) who snatched the win in the premier 1000 Stock Class by a mere 0.056 seconds. Sauerman went on to make amends in the newly introduced Shootout, at the end of the evening, setting a scorching pace and bagging the fastest lap of all on the night.
In the Stock 600 Class there was no one to touch Omran Al Sayed (Kawasaki ZX6R) who beta UAE Sportbike regular Steve Blackney (Honda CBR 600RR) by just over half a second with Peter Devlin (Yamaha R6) taking third.
Round 2 of the DAMC Sprint Challenge takes place at Dubai Autodrome on Thursday, 11 June 2009.