- Abigail Birch first female driver to win in the UAE SWS Sprint Cup series
- Rashid Al Dhaheri opens his account with his first victory in the SWS Juniors
Dubai schoolgirl and Sodi Team driver Abigail Birch made history on Monday night as she became the first female to win an SWS RX7 Senior Cup race at Dubai Kartdrome when she powered to victory in Round 12 of the series, while young Emirati driver Rashid Al Dhaheri took top honours in only his third race in the SWS LR4 Junior race.
Birch, a student at Regent International School in the Greens, set an early marker by claiming pole position in qualifying. Only a second separated the top ten on the time sheets, which set the tone for an evening of close racing.
In Race 1 it was Paul Chatenay, who had qualified second, that set the pace and took victory with Birch in second place, followed by Rashed Al Falasi in third, Ronaldo Labrooy fourth, Ahmed Alhammadi fifth and Allen Khoury rounding out the top six.
Birch reversed the roles in Race 2, managing to pull away from Chatenay to take her maiden win. Although at the end of the night the pair were tied on 76 points apiece, Birch got the winner’s trophy as the tie-breaker was brought into effect and overall victory was hers by virtue of the fact that she qualified higher than Chatenay – with it she wrote a new chapter in the history books of SWS Sprint racing in the UAE.
Constantly improving Labrooy finished third in the second race to claim third overall, with Khoury fourth, Alhammadi, fifth and Mohammad Akhlaq sixth.
In the race within a race, Enrique Gluckman was overall winner in the SWS Masters, with Gary Jones third and Porus Nashir third.
Earlier in the day Keanu Al Azhari claimed pole position for the SWS Juniors, but in the race he dropped down the order as a massive fight ensued at the sharp end of the field. Jakub Fitzimmons did well to get a break and take victory by over eight seconds while behind him the intriguing scrap for secondary honours was only decided on the late stages of the final lap, with Kamal Agha emerging from the melee to take second place ahead of Al Dhaheri in third, who had carved his way from ninth on the grid. In his slipstream was Giacomo Caccia in fourth followed by Samir Malas making a return to the series in fifth and Keanu Al Azhari sixth.
Race 2 saw Al Dhaheri make an early break, then reel out some relentlessly consistent laps to claim victory by an impressive margin of 18 seconds. Once again it was an intense battle for second place with several drivers in contention, and the chasing pack changing positions in every corner.
By the time the dust had settled it was Enzo Al Azhari who kept out of trouble and seized the right moments to bag second place, ahead of Luis Velasco who turned 15th on the grid to third place when the chequered flag waved. Oliver Gaenssler was fourth ahead of Seif Al Naggar in fifth and Malas sixth with the fastest lap for the juniors to his credit.
Thus when the points were tallied up from both races, it was Al Dhaheri who took top spot on the podium – his first in the SWS Junior series – with Fitzsimmons second and Enzo Al Azhari third.
Round 13 of the 2015 SWS Sprint Cup takes place on 19 October at the Dubai Kartdrome.
Note: The Dubai Kartdrome SWS Sprint Series uses Sodi LR4 (Junior) and Senior RX8 (Senior). Contact us for further information about our leisure karting products.
About the Sodi World Series (SWS)
SWS Sprint Races at Dubai Kartdrome are part of the Sodi World Series (SWS) which is an International Kart Racing Ranking based on driver results collated from different SWS races (around the world). The points scored from each partner event are calculated during the course of 30 races per year to establish the International SWS Ranking and a ticket to the annual Sodi World Series Grand Final is the reward to the top drivers from each series.