GGI and Sodi drivers shine in Dubai Kartdrome 12 Hours race

7 March 2016

  • GGI drivers David Terrien and Rami Azzam take top honours for CG Racing Pro
  • Sodi Racing ME coach Vincent Fraisse finishes wsecond with Batelco Racing
  • Sodi leisure karts used for 12 year of the Kartdrome Endurance Championship

On Friday, 4 March, 29 teams did battle in Round 1 of the 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship Driven by Mini and after 12 gruelling hours CG Racing Pro – of David Terrien, Alban Varutti and Rami Azzam – emerged winners after a tense and tight fought battle, decided by the narrowest of margins in the final minutes, to bag maximum points in the first of four championship rounds.

With an hour to go Batelco Racing led from CG Racing Pro, the two teams emerging from their final pits stops nose to tail. They proceeded to battle it out for the final half hour as if in a sprint race. In the end CG Racing Pro, with Varutti in the driving seat, managed to take the lead and edge ahead to win 9.9 seconds – one of the closest finished in the twelve year history of the event.

Batelco Racing had to settle for second place after a gutsy performance throughout the event, followed by reigning champions Dubai Falcon Racing Team in third which was a reward for their consistency and strong strategy.

LD Racing set the cat among the pigeons by their by claiming pole position and taking the early lead after the Le Mans style start set the field off on the 12 hours adventure at the Kartdrome.

The Russian team – of Marat Gubaldulin, Dmitry Levin, Stanislav Burmistrov and Konstantin Mandrikov – were always at the sharp end of the on-track battles and in the end finished fourth which was enough to claim top prize in the prestigious Nations Cup, while earning the praise and respect of the paddock for their impressive performance.

Throughout the race several teams battled in among the top spots with a number of lead changes during the 12 hours. In the hunt, along with Batelco and CG Racing Pro, were the likes of reigning champions Dubai Falcon Racing Team, LD Racing, ENOC NH8, Mach 1, Fly Emirates, Team Emirates, KMS Dubai, Globcom Flame and MINI Dubai.

With the newly introduced kart swap pits stop system, in-line with international SWS Endurance rules, the race only started to unfold with half an hour to go. When the various strategies panned out it was CG Racing Pro and Batelco Racing whose crews had done their sums well – the two teams completed 563 laps each during the 12 hours.

When the chequered flag waved, behind the top four were Mach1 in fifth ahead of Globcom with both teams on 560 laps, ahead of a quartet on 559 laps.

CG Racing Pro dirver/captain Terrien said, “It is always good to win in the Kartdrome Endurance Championship. the level is very high as usual and the competition is tough. This year was the same with the extra challenge of a new pitstop format.”

“Our drivers and team dug deep to meet the challenges. It was very close and we were handed some luck which of course we grabbed. This and of course the hard work, speed and strategy of our team was enough for victory.”

“This win is a perfect way to launch our challenge for this championship in the best way possible. A big thank you to all the teams, the Kartdrome staff and of course our very own CG Racing team who make this one of the top endurance karting events in the world,” added Terrien.

Behind LD Racing, MINI Dubai – made up of all Emirati drivers – did enough to claim second spot in the race-within-a-race Nations Cup behind LD Racing, followed by the all-Indian driver squad Enoch NH8 in third – the two teams crossing the line nose to tail after a memorable final half hour battle.

CG Racing – of Maged Traboulsy, Julien Anaty, Omar Moukachar, Patrik Katrib, Chris Oughourlian and Salem Salem – took top honours in the coveted Corporate Category ahead of Team Emirates in second place, with the CG Racing Academy third.

The Spirit of the Competition Award went toBin Drai Karting Team and the Best Newcomers Award went to Crazy Frogs .

Kartdrome manager Ryan Trutch said, “That was a great way to kick-start the Kartdrome Endurance Championship Driven by Mini. The new rules were well received and made for interesting strategies and very close racing. Congratulations not only to the winners but every single team that took up the challenge.”

“A big thank you to MINI who have backed the Endurance Series once again and helped make it the success that it is. Round 1 has set a very high benchkmark for the next three rounds of the series which I am sure will deliver a very close contest once again.”

Round 2 of the 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship Driven by Mini – the 600 laps race – takes place on 29-30 April 2016.