The Kartdrome at Dubai Autodrome has been bustling with activity since the beginning of the month as teams prepare for the crucial final round of the 2011 Motorcity Endurance Championship, with the running of the MotorCity 24 Hours of Dubai this weekend.
The final round, of four, will decide the champion teams of both the overall championship and the corporate category, with pretenders to the big prizes throwing everything they have to claim the coveted titles.
All eyes will be on what should be a huge tussle between the Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum captained Dubai Falcon Racing Team and Alban Varutti led Batelco squad. The two teams are tied for top spot in the table with 140 points apiece and this weekend’s showdown will be a matter of winner takes all.
Either team are capable of taking top honours as both have shrewd managers and some of the regions top racing drivers in their respective line-ups. Strategy will be one of the vital aspects that will make or break a team in event where planning, team work and speed are non-negotiable elements that must be mastered.
Team managers Ali Abbas (Batelco) and Mike Wilkes (Dubai Falcons) will be making the all important calls from the Kartdrome pitwall. A fascinating tussle for race victory, and ultimately championship triumph is up for grabs.
Equally fierce will be the contest for top spot in the Corporate championship. Publicis Groupe Racing have slight advantage going into the grand finale with a five points lead over CG Racing, with MBC Action 18 points adrift waiting for one of the top teams to slip up.
CG Racing need to win the final race and, according to reports from the Kartdrome, are taking this final round very seriously indeed with regular intensive training under the experienced eye of karting world champion and FIA GT world champion David Terrien, who will also be driving with the team in their quest for the corporate title.
A titanic battle is on the cards as Publicis Groupe Racing also have their sights firmly set on the big Corporate category prize. Watch this space!
The December edition of the MotorCity Endurance Challenge is traditionally the biggest and best of the four events that make up the championship, as the race weekend enables many top international teams to make the trip to Dubai. This year will be no exception.
On the grid will be former Formula 2 champion and Williams F1 test driver Andy Soucek, who along with ace lady racer Fabienne Lanz will spearhead the Seychelles Racing Team. The team could be one of capable of upsetting the form book.
Several of the international teams will have the “unknown quantity” element tagged to them, with drivers and teams from over 30 different countries – many of them top kart drivers - anything can happen and normally does!
Dubai Chairman Mr Ali Fardan Al Fardan said, “I look forward to an exciting 24 hours of racing at the Kartdrome. We have two championship titles up for grabs and this will make it a crucial contest. I predict a battle of strategy, fitness and, of course, consistent speed. I welcome all the international competitors and families to Dubai – please enjoy our great city. And to the drivers I say have a safe race and may the best team win.”
Practice at the Kartdrome on Friday starts at 11.50am, with qualifying at 12.30pm and Dubai Autodrome Chairman Mr Al Fardan set to flag off the teams, for the Le Mans style start at 2pm. He will be there 24 hours later, on Saturday, to wave the chequered flag over the winning team.
Entrance is free for spectators.