SHAIKH TAKES SWS SENIOR CUP VICTORY AHEAD OF WORLD FINALS
Agha tops SWS Junior Cup and second Masters win in a row for Eelma
Dubai, UAE, 23 May 2017: Veteran racers produced a strong showing at the Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Races on Monday night (22 May) at Dubai Kartdrome.
Anjum Shaikh and Kamal Agha are hitting peak form at just the right time, with both drivers going two-for-two on the evening, just days ahead of their trip to Paris, France where they will join nine other drivers representing the Dubai Kartdrome at the SWS World Finals on Thursday (25 May).
Heiki Eelma won’t be going to Paris this year but he was quite happy to bag another class win, as he continues to dominate the SWS Masters category this season.
SWS Senior Cup & Masters Category
Thirty drivers packed the SWS Senior grid and Rami Azzam was the best of them early on, blazing through the qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:11.905, pipping Anjum Shaikh by 0.091 seconds.
In Race One Ahmed Al Hammadi jumped from third on the grid, passing both Shaikh and Azzam, and taking the lead. He maintained the frontrunner position for most of the race, but then a costly error on the penultimate lap allowed Rami and Anjum to catch up and overtake Ahmed. Shaikh took full advantage and collected the win, crossing the finish line 0.546 seconds ahead of Azzam.
Race Two was hotly contested, resulting in number of infringements throughout the contest. A gang of four karts, including Rami Azzam, Maz Nawaz, Ahmed Al Hammadi and Anjum Shaikh, broke free of the main pack and tussled at the front.
Again Shaikh found a way through and claimed his second victory on the night. Al Hammadi chased him in for second place and Nawaz nabbed third.
When the final points were tallied, Anjum Shaikh earned the full 80 points and the SWS Senior win for the night. Ahmed Al Hammadi collected second place silverware on 69 points and Maz Nawaz received third with 64 points.
Heiki Eelma topped the SWS Master category for the second event in a row, leaving Atli Gudmundsson to take second in class and Robin Burton with third place.
On the winner’s podium Anjum Shaikh remarked, “Perfect timing for the world finals. I’ve never had two wins in row, so this is the cherry on top.”
Regarding the SWS World Finals in France he added, “Last year I was there but wasn’t prepared for it, but now I know what to do exactly, so I think this will be a good one.”
SWS Junior Cup
Early in the contest it was Enzo Al Azhari running rampant, topping the qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:19.695, one of three drivers to dip below the 1:20 mark.
Kamal Agha started third on the grid for Race One, but after the start lights went out he made a quick getaway and overhauled both Patrick Debattista and the pole-sitter Al Azhari to take the lead. From there Agha never looked back, stretching out his advantage and taking the chequered flag by a comfortable 8.748 seconds over Keanu Al Azhari, who made a spectacular run from ninth on the grid to finish in second place.
In Race Two it appeared that Kamal would have his way again, jumping out into an early lead. However, Enzo Al Azhari gave chase and reeled in the frontrunner by the middle of the race. The two battled it out and Enzo managed to make a pass for the lead, only to have Kamal take the position right back in the final lap. Agha held on for the win, just 0.164 seconds ahead of Al Azhari.
With two race victories Kamal Agha was the clear winner on the night with 80 points total. Enzo Al Azhari collected 67 points and second place for his efforts, getting the better of his brother Keanu by a single point.
Kamal said afterward, “Race two was more challenging because I had Enzo fighting with me in the back, but in the end I came in first on the last lap. It feels really good to come in first in both races.”
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether