- Danny Shields bags another SWS Junior Cup victory and Mohammed Ismail repeats an SWS Masters win
The final Dubai Kartdrome Sodi World Series (SWS) Sprint Race event of the year finished on Monday night (19 December) with Anjum Shaikh, Mohammed Ismail and Danny Shields all receiving first place trophies.
Anjum Shaikh returned to his winning ways in the SWS Senior Cup category, but he would find the competition fierce.
In qualifying, Abigail Birch was the only driver to dip below the 1:11 mark, lighting up the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:10.880. She would line up on the grid in pole position with Hussain Umid Ali in second and Ahmed Al Hammadi third.
Birch rocketed off the line in Race One and took a comfortable lead over the pack. However, within a few laps Al Hammadi and Anjum Shaikh, who was fourth on the grid, managed to reel her in and the three drivers skirmished for the frontrunner position.
Shaikh came out of the scuffle on top, crossing the finish line just 0.552 seconds ahead of Birch, with Al Hammadi only 0.688 seconds behind her in third.
In Race Two the three drivers would tussle again, but this time Hussain Umid Ali and Romaldo Labrooy were also in the mix for the lead. Birch dropped back in the commotion and Al Hammadi took control of the contest. He seized the chequered flag by a whisker, with Shaikh just 0.175 seconds adrift and Umid Ali drifting in for third.
After the points from the two races were computed, Anjum Shaikh was the clear victor with a total of 76. Ahmed Al Hammadi took home the second place trophy on 73, while Birch’s 66 points secured third place.
After the race Anjum Shaikh was visibly relieved to be clutching a first place trophy again. He commented simply, “It was a long time coming.”
In the Masters category of the SWS Senior Cup, for drivers 35 years or older, Mohammed Ismail was also happy to be winning again; now with two SWS Masters wins in a row.
In both races Ismail was dominant, taking first place each time. Porus Noshir was best of the rest, taking home the second place trophy while Heiki Eelma nabbed third.
It took Danny Shields almost an entire year of kart racing to stand on the top step of the Junior Cup podium, but once he got there in November he decided to stay. He now has two SWS wins in a row.
Shields was almost perfect on the night, grabbing pole position early on and then fighting for the lead over the next two races. Seif Al Naggar was there challenging Shields every step of the way but just missed out on the winner’s trophy after a tie-breaking decision.
Success started in qualifying as Shields set the benchmark with a best lap of 1:19.793, which was over half a second faster than his nearest rival, Seif Al Naggar.
In Race One Shields couldn’t hold the lead as Al Naggar managed get around him and take victory by just 0.265 seconds. Samir Malas chased behind in third.
Shields quickly avenged the defeat, taking control of Race Two and crossing the finish line a comfortable 7.38 seconds ahead of Seif Al Naggar, while Omar Aswat trailed for third place.
When the points were tallied for the night, both Shields and Al Naggar had a total of 76 apiece. The tie-breaker was then determined by podium finishes and again they were at a stalemate as each had a first and a second place finish. The next option to settle the draw was qualifying, with Shields’ pole position the final decider in giving him the first place trophy.
Seif Al Naggar took home second place silverware, while Samir Malas had enough points at 63 to take the third podium spot.
At the conclusion of the night’s racing David Bright of Dubai Kartdrome reflected, “Over the course of 2016 it has been brilliant to watch the steady development of the competitors; we now have drivers winning first place trophies who were not contenders at the beginning of the year.”
“The SWS Sprint Series has provided an excellent platform for leisure karters to develop. Many of these drivers will now go on to challenge professional levels of karting and motorsport.” Bright added.