|One of the best driver line-ups ever assembled, at Dubai Kartdrome, were flagged off for the Le Mans style start of the Motorcity 24 Hours, at 2pm this afternoon (Friday, 10 December).|
Immediately going into the lead battle was Spanish driver Andy Soucek, former Formula 2 Champion and 2010 Virgin Racing F1 reserve driver, doing battle with French karting ace Alban Varutti and the UAE’s most promising teenage racer Mohammed Al Mutawaa.
The trio representing Seychelles Racing, Batelco Team and Ocean Rubber respectively, were the class of the quality field in the first hour. There was nothing to separate them as they swapped positions and tussled for the lead while pulling out a gap on the rest of the field.
For the first time ever the 24 hours race is being run in an anti-clockwise direction at the Kartdrome, a factor which has leveled the playing field and been well received by teams and drivers.
Also new this time around was the spectacular and thrilling Le Mans style start, when the flag dropped to signal the start, drivers were required to run across the track to their karts and start racing.
The 21st running of Dubai’s most famous endurance karting race will once again be a staunch test of team work, stamina, speed and strategy. The reverse track direction and quality of the international teams contesting this weekend make it also one of the most open in years.
Predicting a winner is virtually impossible, thus ensuring a grandstand finish at 2pm on Saturday when the chequered will drop after 24 hours are up on the Kartdrome clock.
Earlier in the day the Batelco Team signaled their intent by claiming pole position in qualifying for the Motorcity 24 Hours of Dubai.
The Bahraini squad handed French karting ace Alban Varutti qualifying duty and he delivered with a potent showing that saw him snatch top spot on the grid by 0.045 seconds from GP United Belgium who in turn were a mere 0.019 seconds ahead of third best team Seychelles Racing.
Pole position winner Varutti said, “It is good to start on pole but it is a long race with many top teams. The anti-clockwise section of the track makes it very interesting. Much more different than the normal direction and I think it is going to make racing much closer.”
Kartdrome manager Ryan Trutch monitored the reaction of competitors to the reversed track and said, “The sentiments have been very positive with all drivers canvassed happy to be racing the new configuration which is generally felt will level the playing field and providing an alternative to the original Kartdrome configuration.”
Live timing is available throughout the event on www.dubaiautodrome.com and www.tracktalk.ae