The Dubai Kartdrome 24-Hours karting endurance race is underway in Motorcity, with double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso and his team MD Racing starting the race from pole.
The race is also the fourth and final round of the 2021 Endurance Championship Powered by EBC Brakes. The Champions will be decided by this race, which was flagged off on Friday afternoon at 13:00 pm started this afternoon at 13:00 and will run until 13:00 on Saturday.
Alonso’s MD Racing team which includes former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa, F3000 ace Angel Burgueno and Bulgarian karting sensation Nikola Tsolov got off to a great start leading early on thanks to the Alpine F1 driver’s victory in the grid deciding sprint race before the main event.
With 28 top teams on the grid, many featuring pro drivers, Alonso’s MD racing is thrust into the middle of a compelling battle for the prestige to be 2021 EBC Brakes Endurance Champion, which has been fought for four rounds, this the final, and includes the prize of racing at the Spanish 12-Hour at Circuit Fernando Alonso.
Meanwhile, in the championship battle, EBC Brakes Racing lead the standings on 102 points with Stop & Go Racing Team second, only eight points apart setting up a ‘winner takes all’ scenario for the championship.
With MD Racing taking pole, Stop & Go were second ahead of Porsche Fanstastic lining up fourth.
The Al Azhari father and son led Porsche Fanstastic take an early lead
After the first, eight hours it was as close as it gets throughout a very competitive field with it was the Porsche enthusiasts led by multiple UAE Champion Karim Al Azhari and his karting son Keanu Al Azhari were solidly
With EBC Brakes chasing in second, followed by PF Racing in third and Alonso’s MD Racing outfit up next in fourth. Stop & Go dropped down the order to sixth.
But with two-thirds of the race left to run, it is on a knife-edge going into the night with the top ten within five laps of one another.
Strategy and good timing, as well as very good driving, will win this race – the biggest and most prestigious in endurance karting in the GCC – because the margins between the teams are fine.
Summing up the first third of the race, Kartdrome manager and race organiser David Bright said: ” It was great to see Fernando Alonso win the sprint race, the cheers were amazing as he really stole the hearts of spectators and drivers here on the day.
“But once the flag went down niceties were put to bed and they got about racing, however experience mixed with youth, local knowledge and teamwork see the Al Azhari father and son pairing, with their team, at the front and setting a good pace.
But there is still a long way to run, many twists and turns are expected overnight when it gets colder and more challenging. Many times there is a sting in the tail in previous editions of this race; no surprise the same happens in 16 hours time,” added Bright.
The chequered flag will end the race at the Kartdrome on Saturday at 13:00 with the winners expected to clock over 1000 laps on the way to victory. Stay tuned!