Batelco- Drag965 Racing in command
Dubai, UAE, 10 February 2017: Six out of twelve hours completed at the Dubai Kartdrome and Batelco-Drag965 Racing currently leads the field, however, CG Racing Pro has taken one more pit stop than the front-runner and is well placed to make a charge at the end.
Fresh from its 2016 Pro Championship triumph, CG Racing Pro sent a message to its rivals that the team is ready to defend its title by topping qualifying screens in the morning. Alban Varutti of CG Racing Pro nailed a best lap time of 1:12.442, scraping by just 0.027 seconds over Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum of Dubai Falcon Racing Team. Batelco-Drag965 Racing secured third on the grid and the Russian team of Lukoil Racing Team earned fourth.
In the opening laps CG Racing Pro made good use of pole position and jumped into the lead. However, as time went by, challenges from rivals were relentless and the frontrunner position was soon lost. Batelco, Falcons and Lukoil have all snatched the lead at one point.
Team Emirates has moved its way from twelfth on the grid up to fifth and now leads the Corporate Class. Two Choueiri Group teams, CG Racing 1 and 2, are chasing right behind them.
The Russian squad of Lukoil Racing Team is currently second place overall, which puts it firmly in control of the Nations Cup. The Lebanese outfit of CG Racing 1 are two laps adrift and will need a bit of luck to challenge the Russians.
After six hours most teams have made five to eight pit stops, and the crew strategies developing now will be critical at the finish.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Darren Rycroft