Dubai, UAE, 24 January 2019: Round Four for both the NGK UAE ProCar Championship and the TRD86 Cup were on track on Friday at Dubai Autodrome in support of the weekend headline series, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East (24-25 January).
NGK UAE ProCar Championship
Dragon Racing bounced back after a pair of losses in the previous round of the NGK UAE ProCar Championship to take two victories in a row on Friday, courtesy of Jim Geddie and his GTA Class Lamborghini Huracan ST (#77).
Geddie was 1.445 seconds a lap quicker in qualifying than Dragon teammate Leon Price driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 (#88), with the Lambo clocking in at 1:38.986 on the 4.29-kilometre International Circuit at Dubai Autodrome. The pole sitter had little trouble in the next two races, beating Price to the chequered flag by 7.630 seconds in Race One and demolishing the rest of the field by a full lap in Race Two.
Next in line came the TCR cars, with the Greek duo at Mouhritsa Racing battling it out for GT leftovers and top honours in class. The TCR Cupra Leon of Costas Papantonis (#1) stayed true to form and notched up two TCR victories over teammate Alexandros Annivas (#9) in a Seat Leon Cup Racer.
Indian driver Rahil Taneja (#10) of AUH Motorsports clawed out two class wins in the scrappy Renault Clio Cup category, with a gutsy battle with Rent2Race’s Mohammed Abdulghaffar Hussain (#76) to take Race One and then topping Polish driver and AUH teammate Marcelina Czepiel (#54) to take home his second Clio Cup winner’s trophy.
Airlink International Driver of the Day
Airlink International Driver of the Day was awarded to Kiwi racer James Bourke, driving an Energy Driven Motorsports Honda Integra (#55).
Emirati drivers and PP Performance teammates Saif Al Ameri (#7) and Ahmad Al Moosa (#77) slugged it out over two races for Gold Class bragging rights and overall victories.
Both Nidal Baumgartner (#20) and Al Moosa (#77) took the lead from Al Ameri in the first 20-minute race, but the Saif fought back to claim victory by just 0.551 seconds ahead of Ahmad.
It was another close scrap in the 45-minute mini-enduro race that followed, but this time is was Al Moosa who came out on top, crossing the finish line 10 seconds clear of Al Ameri.
Silver Class spoils were divided between Kuwaiti driver Ahmad Saad (#83) who finished third overall in Race One, and the #99 Porsche GT3 Cup Car 991 in Race Two, driven by American Scott Dimmeler and Kepa Carmona of Spain.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Aaron Meriwether & Arthur Rosales