Batelco Drag965 Wins Round Two Of The 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship

Dubai Kartdrome Endurance winnerRd1 winners, CG Racing laments penalties to take second following a race-long battle but claims Corporate and Nations Cup honours

Dubai, UAE, 30 April, 2016:

A titanic battle between karting stalwarts CG Racing and BatelcoDrag965 Racing raged through the night for outright honours with the Bahraini Batelco boys eventually winning round two of the 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship Driven by Mini, by less than 11 seconds.

The start of the 600-lap race was waved off at 7pm as a packed grid of 30 teams took to the LeMans-style start on Friday, 29 April, but all eyes were on the race-long duel out front between the rival teams with BatelcoDrag965 emerging victorious by 10.416 seconds after almost 13 hours on track.

Comprising drivers Mohammed Matter, Ramez Azzam, Vincent Fraisse and Mohammed Al Mutawwa, Batelco swapped the lead with CG Racing numerous times but it came down to an all-out sprint with strong driving by both teams after the last of the compulsory 18 pit stops were completed with 25 laps remaining.

Batelco’s final driver, Mattar matched the lap times of CG’s David Terrien for much of the last stint to maintain his winning margin with both teams clocking near identical pairings of 1:10.06 and 1:10.08 second laps after 12 hours.

“The guys did a fantastic job. They were on the pace and were consistent all the way throughout the night,” Batelco’s team manager Kumail Al Musawai said.

“They did a brilliant job on the strategy which put us in the best position to win the race that began with the correct call for the team during the first full course yellow period early in the race,” he added.

For CG Racing, winners of Round One of the 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship, it was a case of missed opportunities for drivers Terrien, Rami Azzam, Piers Pakenham-Walsh and Alban Varutti on track.

“We were close the whole race but we made some mistakes where we lost a bit more than 20 seconds that dropped us to 25 seconds behind,” Captain and Driver, David Terrien said after his final stint.

“We caught Batelco and took the lead with two hours to go and then we got another penalty and so we lost because of a few penalties which is never very nice but it was fair and we have to accept that at this level of racing, a single mistake costs heavily,” he said.

Pole position went to MINI Dubai after an intense 10-minute session, clocking the fastest lap of 1:10.731 from LD, Dubai Falcon Racing, CG Pro and BatelcoDragon965 Racing.

Proving the competitiveness yet again of the series, the top 10 qualifiers were covered by just 0.3 seconds with the fastest 17 karts separated by less than a second.

A full course yellow on lap 30 to retrieve a stranded kart after an accident bunched the field up and caused several to change strategies but once green, it was a traffic jam of battles right through the field.

As the temperature dropped, so did the lap times with the fastest lap of the race going to CG’s Alban Varutti after the Frenchman became the only driver to drop below the 1:10’s with a blistering 1:09.905 set just before dawn.

It was only minutes later that the team suffered its knock-out blow with a 30 second penalty for an on-track infringement that potentially cost them the race.

Further down the field and an equally epic dice for third and fourth emerged between ENOC-NH8 and Mach1 in the final hour following the last pit stops which also threatened rain for the closing stages but thankfully held off until after the chequered flag.

Following the last stop, Mach1 held a 7.9 second gap to ENOCH-NH8 which was quickly eaten away at a rate of 8/10th s of a second per lap until ENOCH-NH8 grabbed the final podium place with 11 laps remaining, eventually crossing the line in third, 9.99 seconds clear of Mach1.

The team’s jubilation was quickly overturned however when race stewards imposed a three-lap penalty for exceeding the driver stint time and they were relegated to eighth.

In total, five teams suffered the same post race penalty including Lukoil Racing, Dubai Falcon Racing Team, pole sitters MINI Dubai and IUM Racing.

“A lot of teams fell foul to the driver stint time and ran over their times by a couple of minutes which ended up giving five penalties at the end of the race,” Kartdrome Manager, Ryan Trutch said.

“But well done to Batelco and CG Pro who finished first and second with just 10 seconds separating them and also a big congratulations to Omantel Ozone and Omantel Makasib who won the Spirit Of The Event and the Newbie Trophy for coming all the way from Oman.

“Plus a big thank you to Yalla MINI who supported the event with a huge display of cars and launched the new MINI cabrio over the weekend. They had a great turnout and added to the great atmosphere this race is known for,” he added.

Winners in the corporate class was CG Racing in fifth outright from Fly Emirates who finished 12th outright and CG Academy in 17th outright. The Nations Cup for teams comprised of one nationality again went to Lebanon’s CG Racing in fifth outright from the Russian LD team in seventh and the all-Indian ENOC-NH8 squad coming home in eighth place overall.

With summer approaching, the 2016 Kartdrome Endurance Championship Driven by Mini takes a break and returns with the 700km round three race in October followed by the season finale 24-hour in December.

Top Ten Overview:
1. BatlecoDrag965 600lLaps
2. CG Racing PRO 600 laps
3. Mach1 596 laps
4. Globcom – Flame 595 laps
5. CG Racing 595 laps
6. Team Emirates 594 laps
7. LD 594 laps
8. ENOC – NH 8 593 laps
9. Bin Drai Karting Team 593 laps
10. Pirelli 592 laps

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