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Preview Dubai Kartdrome 24-Hours Powered by EBC Brakes: Last chance to enter as big field readies for a showdown

Time is running out for final entries for the Dubai Kartdrome 24 Hours, the final round of the 2021 Endurance Championship Powered by EBC Brakes, at Dubai Kartdrome on 17-18 December.

The 24-Hour race is the crown jewel of an intense four-race endurance season that began at Round 1 with the Dubai Ramadan 7-Hour race in April, followed by 12-hour races, Round 2 in May and Round 3 in October.

Next week’s final round is the most prestigious by virtue of having been run since 2005 and has since become one of the most respected and well-supported endurance kart races of this genre.

So much so that for this year’s race, and not for the first time, Formula 1 legend Fernando Alonso will again be entering a formidable team that also includes former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa.

The Alpine driver will be fresh from the final round of the intense 2021 F1 season in Abu Dhabi, is aiming to win the 24-Hour this time out after scoring a podium last year. Apart from De la Rosa, Alonso will have his mate, from F3000 days, Angel Burgueno as well as Bulgarian karting sensation Nikola Tsolov in his team.

Organisers have confirmed entries from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine, Belgium, Russia, India, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and France.

In the pro category, last year’s winners – Swiss team Super Dryver – will be looking for a repeat performance and win karting’s most prestigious endurance race.

As for the 2021 Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Championship title, EBC Racing, Stop & GO and Porsche Fantastic will slug it out for the honour of qualifying for the 2022 SWS World Finals, and also a free entry into the Spanish 12-Hour courtesy of Circuit de Fernando Alonso.

The top teams contending for the title are:

  • EBC Racing: Reigning Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Champions with drivers Duarte Lopez, Miguel Neto, Arjun Manjunath and current SWS World Champion Mickel Mota;
  • Porsche Fantastic 1: Led by multiple UAE racing champion Karim Al Azhari alongside his son, karting ace, Keanu Al Azhari as well as Romaldo Labrooy, Fergal Kelly and Vasilii Zhuravski;
  • Stop & Go: A Portuguese team consisting of Andre Caido, Andre Bandeira, Luis Oliveria and Ruben Conceicao are there to win the title.
  • Mirgap Racing: An all UAE driver line up, lying second in the championship targeting a ‘home’ victory.

In the hotly contested corporate category, reigning Champions Emirates Group Karting have been dominant, this time around targeting one-two in the 2021 Championship, with OmanTel third ahead of the final round.

Speaking to media ahead of the race, Kartdrome manager and series organiser, David Bright revealed: “The track layout we are using is the Links track configuration.

“It’s different to the normal ‘Arrive & Drive’ layout but also features elevations, cambered corners and long straights. The type of track where a good on form driver can make the difference. Racing will be mega close and exciting.

“We also have a new qualifying format, with 60-minutes timed practice to determine the starting order for a nine lap feature sprint race to determine the final grid. For this each team will nominate one driver, the winner’s team getting the honour to start from pole position.

“It’s a pleasure to have F1 world champ Fernando join us on the grid, with a very strong team, just days after the F1 finale at Yas Marina.

“Finally, on behalf of Dubai Kartdrome, I want to say thank you to Jon Simmons from EBC Brakes for their continued support of our Endurance Championship,” added Bright.

With a week to go, last chance team entries are still being accepted, with a full grid being anticipated.

Also new to the series is the option for drivers and/or first-time endurance racers without teams to connect with drivers in similar positions to form new teams and inevitably new friendships which such races (or adventures!) tend to do.

Interested drivers should contact Amal at amaln@dubaiautodrome.com to be added to an available team.

 

 

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