DRAGON RACING – GULF PROCAR – MARCH 2023
GULF PROCAR CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 6
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
The sixth round of action of the Gulf Procar Championship took place at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit. With a grid of 29 vehicles, the day started with a single qualifying and race, to cover the postponed event in January. This was then followed by the traditional qualifying and two races.
Dragon Racing entered five 488 Challenge Evo’s, a Praga and a TCR Cupra. However, prior to the start of the first race, the Praga R1T driven by Ian Roberts, unfortunately experienced mechanical issues, thus forcing the driver to withdraw from the event.
Khaled Al Marzouq set the fastest time in qualifying and attained pole position on the 3.125km North Circuit in his Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, his first race weekend and first pole position.
After an intense 25 minutes of racing, Al Marzouq continued his excellent start to the weekend with a race win, followed home by Jan Sandmann, and then a close battle for the final spot on the podium with Sebastian Gorga just beating Jim Geddie to third, and Maya Hartge finishing fifth.
Alex Annivas secured a win in Race 1, as he looked to gain points against fierce class rival Rene Munnich.
The drivers were soon back on the circuit to complete qualifying 2, which would determine the grid for Race 2 of the weekend. Khaled Al Marzouq once again secured pole position from Sebastian Gorga, however a post session penalty demoted Al Marzouq to start 4th.
Race 2 saw the battle between Khaled Al Marzouq and Sebastian Gorga heat up, with Gorga leading Al Marzouq home by 0.5s on completion of the 25 minute race. Jim Geddie rounded out the podium with Jan Sandmann 4th. Maya Hartge did not start due to a technical fault.
In the TCR Class, Rene Munnich took the win, the overtake by Munnich over the fast starting and early leader Annivas was brought into question by the stewards with no further action taken – the TCR Class title would go down to the final race of the season.
Sebastian Gorga demonstrated some remarkable driving in Races 1 & 2; however, had to leave due to other commitments before Race 3. After his departure, Gorga showed great sportsmanship by letting fellow Dragon Racing Driver Maya Hartge borrow the car he was renting from Dragon Racing.
With the sun setting over the stunning Yas Marina Circuit, the timing screens lit up and so did Maya Hartge. Hartge made a strong comeback when she stunned spectators, driving from P27 to finish third at the flag! The determination and drive shown by Hartge in this final race was inspirational.
Al Marzouq made it three wins from three, with Jan Sandmann second, and Jim Geddie in fourth.
The TCR battle certainly stole the show, with Annivas getting the jump at the start, and controlling the early laps of the race before contact between the two drivers saw Annivas unfortunately retire from the race, and ultimately from the championship title.
GULF PROCAR – ENDURO RACE
The final race event of the season took place at Dubai Autodrome, with the traditional end of season Enduro Race, which sees drivers competing in two races of 50 minutes. Drivers have the option to either compete as a single entrant, or as a team of two with a mandatory pitstop to liven things up.
This was a special race as our very own Founder, Leon Price, competed in the Dragon Racing Ferrari 488 Challenge alongside his son Josh Price.
Ian Roberts was ecstatic to be back on track in his Praga for the Enduro Race, and he didn’t disappoint. In Qualifying 1, Roberts obtained pole position ahead of the 488 Challenge of Hartge / Qamzi, with Jan Sandmann in 4th, and the duo of Price/Price in 5th.
As the first 50 minute race got underway, Roberts was unfortunately involved in an accident on the opening lap, needing to pit for a replacement front nose, and finishing 6th overall, however still achieved 1st place in the Proto Class.
Hartge/Al Qamzi sealed the Class 2 victory and second overall with Sandmann second in class, and Price/Price third in class.
The final race of the motorsport season, and Race 2 of the Enduro weekend saw Roberts take the Proto Class win, second overall. Hartge/Al Qamzi winning Class 2 and third overall. Sandman was second in Class 2, and Price/Price third to make an all Dragon Racing Podium to round out a fantastic motorsport season.
The Gulf Procar End of Season Awards Dinner was hosted at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club on conclusion of the Enduro event. The Dragon Racing team once again showed their support to the series by contributing to the Enduro event trophies, and coming away with a hand full of trophies for the Enduro races and the Gulf Procar Championship.
Dragon Racing would like to thank Gulf Sport Racing and all of our customers, competitors and friends for this season – a series that has matured on so many levels, with expanded grids and competition in each class. We look forward to seeing you all back on the grid next season!