You’d have thought we would have enjoyed having the summer off. Well, truth be told it was bearable for the first few weeks but petrol heads such as ourselves are not the kind that can ride out a barren UAE summer. We arranged a few car shoots abroad, but ultimately have been out of touch with the people who mean the most to us, our readers.
I stumbled across Victory Games and Café after Iztok (who heads up the marketing at Ramy Automotive) suggested that we meet there. A motorsport themed Café situated under the main grandstand at the Dubai Autodrome, with a view which overlooks the main straight. Not a lot wrong here. And after seeing their simulator set up, the idea was set – giving us the perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone who we haven’t seen since Caffeine and Machine at the Port.
The format for the evening was simple (well that was until we were oversubscribed). Drivers were given three flying laps with the fastest top 10 drivers of the evening making it through to a shoot out. We had hoped to progress into a top 4 shoot out, but with the long list of entrants for the qualifying session we just didn’t have the time.
In the build up to the event there was quite a bit of pre-talk, with Firas (who’s car is no stranger to this website), and Crank and Piston’s very own Abudullah Jaffari, setting the early threats. These two dominated the qualifying session with Firas guiding the Forumla C single seater around the Dubai Autodrome’s intentional layout in a blistering time of 1:31.143. Rumor has it that he had been practicing all week. And, considering I’ve never seen him exceed 100KPH on the road there must have been some truth behind this.
As we moved onto the top 10 shoot out the times were reset, meaning the fastest drivers couldn’t rely on their qualifying times thus favoring the more consistent of the bunch. This rule also made the shoot out a lot less clear cut, with only a handful of the top 10 improving their times.
The slowest drivers from qualifying were up first and Ali Hamed was the first to improve on his original time, taking him to a fastest overall time of 1:34.498. His reign at the top was short lived as Mohammed Chehab followed him with a 1:34.031.
Ahmed Sameer who is more used to going sideways, was next to improve as he moved into second with a 1:34.056, making things incredibly tight at the top. Carlos “I drive a boring Ghibli”, Hamza ‘The Nissan Fan Boy” Hashmi and Moe Dabbous all failed to improve on their times, leaving the top three unchanged with the fastest two drivers from qualifying still yet to have a shot at setting a time.
The pressure was on Abdulla Jaafari as he needed to better his qualifying time by nearly a second to have any chance at bagging one of our custom made trophies. He fell short by seven tenths, and was only able to improve his time by two tenths. Tiny margins but this is racing.
Firas Odeh was full of confidence but still had it all to do. His qualifying time was still two and a half seconds faster than the top three drivers but this was now disregarded. Still he made it clear that he was going to get into the 1:30s, although unfortunately this was not the case. However, by his second lap he had done enough to win it setting a time within the 1:32s giving him one final parade lap. He eventually came over the line with a 1:32.410 which was over one second slower than his qualifying time. This dropped Hamid Ali out of the top three who missed out by a few hundredths of a second.
The top three drivers all got one of our custom made trophies, handcrafted by Ramy Automotive. As well as this they also got a day in the desert in one of these crazy custom built buggies by MOCA. Which when taking into the consideration the sound of they make, they must go like stink.
With this being our first event of its kind we can’t thank everyone enough. It wouldn’t have been the same without the support of both Ramy and MOCA, and of course the Victory Games and Café who kept us fully refreshed throughout the evening.