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19 May 2024

Two Last-to-First finishes punctuate Yas Racing Series round 3

By Staff

Round three of the Yas Racing Series held at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit saw the introduction of the locally produced Time Attack added for the first time to the program.

Open to road cars, it’s proving a popular sport in the UAE.

A way to introduce newcomers to motor racing, drivers take their own cars for three flying laps of the South Circuit, and the winner being the one with the fastest single lap.

Before that though, race day got under way under a shroud of fog, which kept competitors in their garages, but when pit lane opened for the FG1000, Radical Winter Cup and the NGK Racing Series for touring cars, it was business as usual.

First up was race one of the NGK series, which saw the Ferrari 458 Italia of Leon Price take pole with a time of 1:06.512 from a gaggle of Renault Clio Cup cars with Ramzi Moutran, Alexandros Annivas and Guillaume Simonnet slotting in behind.

Filling the grid was the Honda Civic of Rupesh Channake, the Honda Integra of Jonathon Mullen and Leon Johnson’s Renault Clio Cup.

As the lights went out, not surprisingly it was Price in the Ferrari who bolted into the lead and was never challenged for the remainder of the 20-minute race.

Clio Cup honours went to Alex Annivas from Ramzi Moutran and Guillaume Simonnet.

Race One of the FG1000 series saw Nick Canal get off to a great start from Haytham Sultan Al Ali, who snuck past front row qualifier Natasha Seater into turn one.

Seater was quick to make amends and swept past Al Ali. However it all came to naught when a cut tyre forced her into retirement allowing Rahul Mayer and Nick Canal to battle it for the win with Mayer taking the flag.

Race one of the Radical Winter Cup saw the debut in the SR3 category of Ramez Azzam and Zaamin Jaffer, who claimed pole position and a win in their class but it was the SR8 duo of Al-Thani and Jordon Grogor who took the outright chequered flag.

Starting from outright pole, Al Thani held off a determined charge from UK champions Tony Wells and local driver Bassam Kronfli who were both driving the race solo.

The hard luck story of the race was Tom Jordan and Alex Kapadia who were forced to take a drive through penalty but still managed to hold onto a podium position in the SR3 class.

For race two of the NGK Racing series, Ferrari driver Leon Price, Costas Papantonis and Honda’s Rupesh Channake were non-starters. That allowed the Honda Integra of Jonathon Mullen to take an immediate lead from the remaining contingent of Renault Clios, which he held to the flag.

In the second race of the FG1000 series, Natasha Seatter made amends for her race one retirement by taking a commanding win by 9.4 seconds over Nick Canal despite starting from last place on the grid.

Seatter made a blinding start, passing the majority of the six-car field into turn one and cleaning up the rest before turn three. It was a lead she held until the chequered flag.

Second was Canal from Rahul Mayer, Hatham Sultan Al Ali, Harsh Rajpal and Saeed Bin Touq, who was forced to retire with one lap remaining.

Race two of the Radical Winter Cup rounded out the day with an impressive drive from last to first for Al Thani and Grogor in the SR8 from Richard Sykes and Charlie Kemp sharing another SR8.

However, making it onto the outright podium in third place was the SR3 winning team of Jordan and Kapadia as a result of the SR8s of Wells and Littlejohn as well as the car of Bassam Kronfli both suffering gearbox trouble. Kronfli retired while the British duo finished down in 11th place.