Dubai: Taymour Kermanshahchi, Cyrus Engineer, Sanad Al Rawahi, Andrew Fuller and Mohammad Al Daheri all opened their season with wins in the opening round of the 2011-2012 Al Ain Raceway Kart Club Championship on Friday.
Kermanshahchi took the top honours in the Cadet Class, Engineer was impressive winning the Junior Max 125 Class, while the Senior Max 125 Class victory went to Oman Karting Team's Al Rawahi.
In the Max Masters Class, it was former Champion Fuller taking the top spot, while Al Daheri came up with a fine drive to clinch the DD2 125 Class honours.
The Honda Challenge — an ideal first step on the karting ladder — had a maximum-capacity field of 25 drivers entering and it was Hussain Umid Ali converting his pole into a close win from Sam Zian while Alexandre Silanine completed the podium.
The Cadet class saw a maiden victory for young Iranian driver Kermanshahchi as he led from start to finish crossing the line five seconds ahead of Lucas Petersson and Alain Bauwmans.
In the Junior Max 125, there was a four-way tussle between reigning champion Abdullah Al Rawahi, Cyrus Engineer, Ameer Hassan and Tom Bale. Al Rawahi led until the final two laps till an error saw Engineer overtake and take the win while Hassan came in second and Al Rawahi had to settle in third, fractionally ahead of Bale.
In the Senior Max 125 category, Al Rawahi overcame a first-lap error to take the win by nine seconds ahead of Patrick Jarjour who made his first competitive outing in this class while debutant Nikita Miliakov fought back from earlier disappointment to claim a coveted third place.
The Max Masters Class saw former champion Fuller finding his old form to lead comfortably uninterrupted followed by defending champion Arnaud Bouf with a brand-new kart and Paul Woodfield.
After a mechanical failure in the DD2 125 Class earlier in the day, Al Daheri found himself starting from seventh, but following a lightening start, it did not take time for him to rest behind Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum and Maurits Knopjes.
But two blistering moves and Al Daheri took the lead when he went on to win ahead of Shaikh Hasher — making a comeback after a two-year absence — with Knopjes in third.
Over 70 drivers participated over six classes to kick-start their Championship campaigns for the 2011-2012 season.
Round Two will be held at the Dubai Kartdrome on October 14.