Another perfect weekend for the defending Qatar Touring Car Championship title, Abdulla Al Khelaifi as he clinched again another double victory at Losail International Circuit.
In the first race, Al Khelaifi, who started from pole position, took the lead from the start to the checkered flag and emerged the winner in front of the newcomer driver Ghanim Al Maadheed with a gap of 1.398. The third place in the podium was for Hamad Al Sulaiti.
Mohammad Al Khaiat finished fourth and Hamad Al Asam in fifth place.
Ahmed Al Asiri had a problem with his tyres and didn’t finish the race. He didn’t have a good set of tyres and his car didn’t work as he expected and in the first lap, Al Asiri tried to stay behind Al Khelaifi as much as he could but Abdulghani took the racing lane and he got stuck in the inside lane, over exceeding and going into the gravel.
Second race, with the reverse grid and starting from the last position in the grid, Al Khelaifi had a battle with Al Asiri but he took again the win and Al Asiri came second. The third place was for Al Khaiat and Al Maadheed finished fourth.
After the race, Al Khelaifi was very happy with another double victory ‘The first race was nice, with a bit of difficulties with the wind but I had an exciting lap with Al Asiri. Unfortunately for him, he had an incident and left the track so I was secure from battling with him and from that point I was only controlling the race’ said Al Khelaifi.
‘Second race was much more exciting as I started from last position due to the reverse grid. As Al Asiri didn’t finish the first race, he started from the pole position and built a big gap. I managed to pass almost everyone easily except him that I passed him in the seventh lap and keep the lead until the end’ ended Al Khelaifi.
Al Maadheed, who finished second in the first race, was very happy with his first podium ‘This is my first-time taking part in this championship and although the car is not ready, this second position is great. Hopefully for the next round, we can prepare more the car. For the second race, starting second from the back, was very difficult to reach the front as some slow cars were blocking the way but it is ok, new lap time record for me so very happy’ said Al Maadheed after the round.
‘In the second race I had a good start, I thought that Abdulla will come eventually so I wanted to widen my gap but when he reached me, I pushed very hard and we battled for seven laps but at the end he passed me and won again’ commented Al Asiri.
‘In the first race, I started from the sixth place and I jumped for the second place in the third lap but unfortunately I had a problem in the turn 10 so I came back to fourth position and kept it until the end. For race 2, I started in the fourth position and we jumped for the second position but the Honda cars on the straight line are faster and I finished third. Hope for the next round I have more time to work on the car and make better results’ said Al Khaiat.
After the second round, Al Khelaifi leads the standings with 64 points. Mohamad Al Khaiat is second with 39 points and Ahmed Al Asiri third with 36 points. Ghanim Al Maadheed is fourth with 35 points.
Trophies were presented by Mr. Abdulrahmam Al Mannai (QMMF President) and Mr. Khalid Al Remaihi (LCSC Vice President and General Manager)
The next round of Qatar Touring Car Championship will be held on 25thand 26th January 2019.