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Emirati driver takes top spot on home turf

Bintouq secures two podium positions in Formula Gulf 1000

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit-sponsored race car driver Saeed Bintouq took two podium positions this past weekend in the Formula Gulf 1000 at Yas Marina Circuit.

The race, organised under the banner of the Yas Motor Racing Series by GulfSport Racing, took place on February 16 and saw seven young drivers go head to head in two evening competitions.

Bintouq, a 22-year-old Emirati, took top spot in race one and finished third in race two.

“It was a great day of racing here at the circuit and we’re extremely proud of Saeed’s accomplishment in taking two podium positions,” said Saud Al Qaydi, Motorsport Manager at Yas Marina Circuit.

Race one got under way after sunset on the state-of-the-art F1 track, with drivers Rahul Raj Mayer and Nicolas Canal setting an intense pace. Disappointingly for a number of drivers, race one was cut short due to a number of technical and on-track incidents. Caterham F1 driver development team member Weiron Tan’s race came to an early end when he was forced to retire to the pits due to a persistent misfire. Early race leaders Canal and Mayer also made contact on lap three, which resulted in a DNF (did not finish) for Canal and a fastest lap for Mayer as he tried in vain to get his position back.

It wasn’t all bad news, however, as Yas Marina Circuit-supported Emirati driver, Saeed Bintouq, seized the opportunity to secure the top time and at the end of race one.

Speaking of his win, Bintouq said: “I just tried to focus on my own racing today and fortunately it worked out in my favour. Driving here on home turf at Yas Marina Circuit was great, and having that home support definitely helped. This is a win for the entire Yas Marina Circuit team, so a big thank you to them as well.”

Capping off race one’s podium were Harsh Rajpal, who finished just two seconds behind Bintouq and Emirati driver Haytham Sultan, who remained bumper to bumper with Raipal until the very end.

During race two, Tan finally got the opportunity to shine, starting from the back of the grid and quickly passing the pack to take the lead and victory. Mayer, whose earlier incident derailed his chance of an early win, also gave chase and finished the race just 2.5 seconds behind Tan. The podium was capped off with Saeed Bintouq taking his top-three of the evening in third place.