ROUND 1 IN FULL THROTTLE! SAEED AL SULAITI WINS QSTK600 SUPERPOLE. ABDULLA AL KHELAIFI FINISHES FIRST IN QTCC FREE PRACTICE
The pre-final of the 2021 Qatar Superstock and Qatar Touring Car started with an action-packed Friday at Losail Circuit. Participants in all categories showed great promise. Round 1 of the season saw two QSTK600 Superpole races, qualifying practice for the drivers in QTCC 2K, and finally, race 1 of the youngsters competing in the final of the QSSP300 championship. The races will continue into Saturday, 23rd January, where champions in all categories will be announced. Racers showed a tremendous amount of grit amidst the intense windy weather that caused issues for many. During the QSTK600 Superpole race, last weekend's winner at the free practice, Saeed Al Sulaiti, continued his fastest timing streak with an improved timing of 2:04.582. "I'm pleased with my time, but at the same time, it was a challenging day because the wind was very strong. We did a great job with the setup, but I believe we can do much better given the weather situation. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's final," Al Sulaiti concluded. The defending QSTK 600 champion, Qatar's Abdalla Al Qubaisi, finished second in the Superpole, maintaining his official practice position. "Unfortunately, it was very windy today. The most important for us is that we tried to understand the bikes. Tomorrow it will be fine hopefully, and we will do better," exclaimed Al Qubaisi. Riders are putting the new R6 Yamahas to the test as they head into tomorrow's QSTK600 final. In the QTCC 2K category, a total of 25 drivers participated in the qualifying practice. Three of them could not finish the race. Ahmed Al Asiri finished in third place, just behind Abdulla Al Abbasi, who claimed second with a 2:25.344. With an increased number of participants and an extended timeframe for the drivers to work on the maintenance of their cars, the 2K category will be the toughest fought tomorrow. Abdulla Al Khelaifi, who has won the QTCC category three times before, plans to come back stronger. "I'm very happy with the results today. I came back to this category after a year, and I'm driving this car for the first time since January last. Tomorrow plans to increase the distance between the other drivers and us. There are a lot of new faces, and they are very fast drivers. Hopefully, it will be tougher than the championships before, and I am here to have fun!" said Al Khelaifi after the practice. The number of competitors in bike and car championships has increased compared to previous years due to the season's late start because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the final day of the race is a thrilling one with everyone's eyes on the podium. Race 1 of the finals for the QSSP300 took place in the evening. With nine participants from four countries, the competition amongst the youngsters from Qatar Motorsports Academy was fierce. Fighting wheel-to-wheel for the podium position in all seven laps, the youngsters provided unprecedented scenes in the under-18 category. Qatar's Saad Al Harqan finished third while Yousef Al Darwish, who was timed first in the free practice, came in second. Hamad Al Sahouti did the fastest lap and was placed first on the podium. "For tomorrow's race, my strategy is full gas. I hope I do better tomorrow as well. I'm just grateful to be in this position and be associated with the Qatar Motorsports Academy," concluded today's winner, Al Sahouti. The youngsters reiterated their commitment to the club by performing at the highest level. Podium winners all thanked Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, Losail Circuit Sports Club, and Qatar Motorsports Academy. Tomorrow is the last day of the championships, with the final races in all categories lined up. If you want to witness an action-packed finale of one of the most exciting seasons Losail Circuit Sports Club has hosted, head over to the circuit as entry is free for the spectators at the paddock and the grandstand. --- For more exciting news on events related to motorsports, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and stay tuned!