Dubai, UAE, 20 October 2018: After 526 arduous laps and 700 kilometres on the Monaco Switchback Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome, Bin Drai Karting Team, with drivers Andre Caiado, Miguel Neto, David Terrien and Pedja Jakovljevic, nabbed its third win in a row to maintain its lead in the Pro ranking of the 2018 Endurance Championship. Dmitry Levin, Konstantin Mandrikov and Victor Agafonov of LD Russia took over the Corporate category with an impressive class victory, as well as solidifying their top spot status in the Nations Cup.
Rains during the night caught many teams off guard, with slippery conditions and slow lap times throwing off well calculated strategies for pit stops.
As the first drops fell, Bin Drai Karting Team dropped down the grid order, taking a series of pit stops ahead of most of the field. It was deliberate manoeuvre that would bring the race back to the team later in the contest.
Bin Drai Driver Captain and former CG Pro champ, David Terrien remarked, “We were faster in the wet, so we put in quite a big gap and we also managed to do some pit stops in the wet.”
“It was better to do the pit stops when the track was slower, so we gained time.”
Gained they did, and by midnight the drivers of Bin Drai were back in command of the race. Several of the visiting Russian teams also enjoyed the familiar wet weather. As Corporate leader, Team Emirates, tumbled backwards down the field in the tricky conditions, LD Russia and Energy Russia moved up to take the lead in class.
While the Russians dominated the Corporate and Nations Cup categories, Cambridge Middle East Interiors and Emirates PRO were busy chasing down Bin Drai Karting Team for a shot at the overall win. Both teams closed the gap by the early hours of the morning, but the drivers of Bin Drai managed to keep focused and stay out in front.
After almost thirteen hours of endurance racing, Miguel Neto completed the full 700 kilometres for Bin Drai Karting Team, crossing the finish line 48.506 seconds ahead of Cambridge Middle East Interiors. On paper Bin Drai had a perfect weekend, scoring a karting hat-trick by topping qualifying, the initial sprint race and the final endurance race.
David Terrien said, “We really enjoyed the rain. We really enjoyed the new layout. It’s a very nice layout and the rain came to give a bit of spice to the race.”
Bin Drai Racing Team have also gone three-for-three to maintain their lead in the Pro Championship with a total of 120 points. Emirates PRO, on 99 points, and Dubai Falcon Racing Team, with 97 points, both have a great challenge to try and catch Bin Drai in the fourth and final round in December.
LD Russia walked away with two trophies this weekend, having cleaned up in both the Corporate and Nations Cup categories.
LD Russia Team Manager Kirill Chebanov congratulated Dubai Kartdrome officials for putting on a world-class race. He said, “Thank you for this event. This is a good experience for us, for our teams, and we will come back later for the 24 hours race.”
LD Russia has now moved into the Corporate Championship lead with a total of 110 points, jumping four points clear of Team Emirates on 106 points. Both teams could take it all in the final 24-hour round. Another Emirates squad, Fly Emirates, is mathematically in contention with 76 points, but most likely it will be looking to secure the third step of the podium over rivals Roland Berger.
In the sub-category Nations Cup, for teams with drivers of same nationality, LD Russia is firmly in control with 115 points. Prudent Motorsports India is in second-place on 80 points, while the Omani squad of Omantel Makasib 2 is pursuing in third position with 70 points.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright reflected, “Congratulations to Bin Drai Karting Team for another dramatic win. The new circuit layout was extremely popular with all of the drivers and the sprint race, as well as the sudden rain, provided an interesting twist to the contest.”
“I’d like to give a big thanks to our sponsors who support this iconic championship, to the Dubai Kartdrome team who were exceptional this weekend in adverse conditions, and to all of the teams who travelled from near and far to take up the 700-kilometre challenge.”
Round Three Podiums:
RaceRoom Challenge Winner
Spirit of the Event Trophy
Prudent Motorsports India
Newbie Trophy (Best New Team)
Nations Cup Podium
1. LD Russia
2. Omantel Makasib 2
3. Eau Rouge
1. LD Russia
2. Energy Russia
3. Redline Racing
1. Bin Drai Karting Team
2. Cambridge Middle East Interiors
3. Emirates PRO
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Aaron Meriwether & Arthur Rosales