With three different winners from four races, Formula Gulf 1000 drivers arrived at the Dubai Autodrome for Rounds 5 and 6 knowing that it would be all about their performance on the day.
After two thirty minute test sessions these talented young drivers realized that the 3.5kms National Circuit is by far the most challenging circuit configuration in the Middle East, which includes a flat out, completely blind double apex turn that is part of the longer Grand Prix circuit – something that deserves their full attention and commitment.
An early twenty minute Qualifying Practice session on Friday morning on new slick racing tyres was to set the grid order for race one later that morning. The session saw the top three drivers put in their best qualifying times within less than half a second of each other, with Dubai based Joe Ghanem beating India’s best young driver Zaamin Jaffer by only three hundredths of a second.
Race One got underway with poleman Ghanem having a poor start which let Jaffer into the lead which he was to hold throughout the race with Ghanem is hot pursuit. But Jaffer made no mistakes over the twelve lap race and hung on to finish 2.6 seconds ahead, with Yas Marina Circuit supported Mohamed Al Mutawaa closing to within half a second at the finish behind Ghanem. Malaysian teenage Natasha Seatter had a trouble free race finishing in fourth, followed by Yastoor Mirza from Pakistan, Emirati driver Haytham Sultan Al Ali, and Indian driver Harsh Rajpal enjoying a solid performance in his first race.
Race Two just four hours later gave all the drivers a second chance of glory and it was Ghanem who made no mistakes this time and jumped into a very slender lead with Jaffer just one second behind followed by Asia’s fastest lady driver in third place. With Jaffer catching Ghanem and Al Mutawaa catching Seatter all eyes were on the first four drivers although there was some great driving going on behind them with Haytham Sultan, Harsh Rajpal and Yastoor Mirza. On the last lap Al Mutawaa and Seatter were fighting for third place on the podium when contact occurred. After the incident was reviewed by the Clerk of the Course Seatter retained third place.
Rounds 7 & 8 take place at the Yas Marina Circuit on 16th December.