Dubai, UAE, 12 December 2020: Superdryver Asterios (#18), with drivers Laurencon Olivier, Rohrbasser Nicolas, Paoleschi Fabio and Morin Gregory upstaged Motorsport Wheels (#5) by winning the final round of the Endurance Championship Powered by EBC Brakes on Saturday at Dubai Kartdrome, but Motorsport Wheels had collected enough points required to claim the 2020 Overall Championship.
Round Four Highlights
Superdryver Asterios started on Friday in third-place on the grid, and the team made good use of this position to pounce on the leaders, Gamma Racing (#10) in P2 and Stop and GO UAE (#9) on pole.
Within the first few hours of the 24-hour endurance race, Superdryver Asterios moved up the order, and by lap 300 the super squad was out in front of Stop and GO UAE by 56.544 seconds.
Championship leader Motorsport Wheels, led by Anjum Sheikh, Hussain Umid Ali, Ramez Azzam, Maz Nawaz, Romaldo Labrooy and Kyle Kumaran, moved up from fifth position and even took over the lead for a few laps, but Superdryver Asterios kept up relentless pressure and Motorsport Wheels was forced to retreat.
Meanwhile, championship contender EBC Brakes (#6) with Arjun Manjunath, Rachit Singhal, Aditya Swaminathan, Aashi Hanspal and Jamie Shaw, had a bad night at the office, tumbling down the grid order from eight-position in qualifying and into a race free-fall that would eventually see the team finish 17th overall, a disheartening result from the squad that won Round Three.
Corporate leader Fly Emirates (#15), with Andre Khoury, Jan Bobert, Sevag Balmanian and Hugo De Frutos Maeso, recovered from a slow start, which witnessed the team drop as low as P15, and during the long night managed to make up ground on TONI-SPORTS by Ravenol (#2). The two teams would remain in a close fight until the chequered flag.
By morning Superdryver Asterios was in fine form, opening up a sizeable gap to the rest of the field, leaving Motorsport Wheels, Team Asterios (#22) and Porsche Club UAE (#8) in a desperate chase.
After a full 24-hours and 1,130 laps of arduous racing on the Links Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome, Laurencon Olivier crossed the finish line, arms up in celebration, taking victory for Superdryver Asterios, the team’s first triumph after more than a decade of challenging the Endurance Championship.
Polesitter Stop and GO UAE finished fifth overall, but the Portuguese outfit still managed to collect silverware as the top Nations Cup team for the day, while Fly Emirates completed its extraordinary comeback, taking sixth overall and beating out Corporate competitor TONI-SPORTS by Ravenol by 1:02.233 at the finish line.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright said after the race, “What an exciting race from start to finish! Great to see Superdryver Asterios win the 24-hour race after so many attempts over the years, and the sister squad, Team Asterios, also did well to place third. The new RT8 karts looked sharp on track and made the event super competitive over the entire 24-hours.”
Superdryver got the win, but it was not enough to deny Anjum Sheikh, Hussain Umid Ali, Ramez Azzam, Maz Nawaz, Romaldo Labrooy and Kyle Kumaran of Motorsport Wheels from being crowned champions after securing P2 for Round Four and a total of 168 points in 2020, beating out team EBC Brakes by a convincing 40 points.
EBC Brakes, with Arjun Manjunath, Rachit Singhal, Aditya Swaminathan, Aashi Hanspal and Jamie Shaw may prefer to forget this last round, finishing the race way down in P17. However, the all-Indian squad collected just enough class points (162) over the four rounds to hold on to the 2020 Nations Cup, edging out Stop and GO UAE by just five points.
Corporate leader Fly Emirates, with Andre Khoury, Jan Bobert, Sevag Balmanian and Hugo De Frutos Maeso, did well to overcome early difficulties in Round Four to finish on a high, wrapping up the 2020 Corporate Championship with a total of 172 points, well clear of partner squad Fly Emirates 2 on 148 points.
The all-Emirati team of Mirgap Racing racked up 80 class points in 2020, enough to secure the newly created GCC Trophy over Oman Karting on 67 points.
David Bright said, “A big congratulations to Motorsport Wheels for winning the championship in style and I look forward to seeing the team represent Dubai Kartdrome on F1 legend Fernando Alonso’s circuit in Spain next year.”
Bright added, “Big thanks to our Title Sponsor EBC Brakes for their incredible support this year and making the Endurance Championship a great success!”
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether