2009 DAMC Sprint Challenge round 2 at Dubai Autodrome

Round 2 of the 2009 DAMC Sprint Challenge at Dubai Autodrome on Thursday evening (11 June 2009) attracted a host of entrants, with more competitors and staff than actual spectators, as usual.

Among the entrants were four UAE National Champions including Juzar Motiwala and Hussein Al Kooheji in the motorcycle categories, with Mohammed Al Owais and Abdul Hamid Al Awadhi turned up to contest the car categories. And it was no surprise that they made an impact on the results at the end of the evening.

In the car categories Murat Binici was in impressive form driving his Corvette and setting the early pace in Class D with his main rival Frederick Gaillard (DXB Racing Porsche) retaliating to take the fastest lap in the second session. But Binici bounced back to scorch around the floodlit Club Circuit configuration in an impressive 1 minute 15.873 seconds to nab top honours in the class – which at this stage was the fastest lap of the night for the four wheel brigade. Gaillard took second place with Red Line Challenge regular Ala Al Malak (Porsche 997 GT3) third quickest.

In Class F there really was little opposition to the reigning UAE Touring Car Champion Mohammed Al Owais who was in top form in the purpose built Ariel Atom, blasting to victory with almost 2.5 seconds over his closest rival Ramzi Moutran (Renault Clio Cup).

The scene was set for a big battle between Al Owais and Binici in the “winner takes all” Shootout which has been introduced this season to add spice to the end of the evening. But in the one lap blast it was Al Owais who scorched around to set the fastest time of the evening (for cars) by clocking an impressive 1 minute 14.861 seconds lap which was 0.708 quicker than Gaillard, who snatched the second quickest time of the evening with Binici only managing the third quickest time. Just over a second separated the top three which is proof of the competitiveness of the series among the top drivers.

The 2008 DAMC Sprint Challenge Champion (for motorcycles) Hennie Sauerman (Liberty Kawasaki) needed to make amends for the Round 1 defeat he suffered when Rob Nicholas (Honda) beat him in the Challenge. The determined South African did just that by setting the pace in the “big banger” 1000 Stock Class throughout the three runs and the end of the night Shootout to stamp his authority in the Class. Nicholas settled for second place ahead of Taha Al Mossawi on a Honda.

Big news on the night was in the 600 Stock Class where the 2008/2009 UAE Sportbike Champions Juzar Motiwala and Hussein Al Kooheji were facing off. Motiwala, the 1000 Stock Class Champion, moved down into the 600 Class on a Suzuki with the 600 Stock Class Champion, Hussein on a Yamaha. The pair slugged it out on but it was Motiwala who had the edge on each of the three runs to claim top honours. Kooheji was second with Steve Blackney (Honda) third. Round 1 winner Omran Al Sayed (Kawasaki) could only manage fourth fastest lap on the night.

Round 3 takes place on 2 July 2009 at Dubai Autodrome.

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