Last Corner Lunge From Winter Gives Solvalou Victory in Abu Dhabi

Racing Team Solvalou driver Chris Winter would deliver victory for himself and co-driver Einar Armannsson after a last corner clash with then leader Ryota Wong.

The pairing of Winter and Armannsson were the only ones that were able to break Fabian Rei and Ryota Wong’s stranglehold on the lead of the race at the last possible moment. Winter would clear the struggling James James Davies, replicating a move done by Armannsson after the first round of pit stops, for second with ten minutes to go, with a five second gap then separating him from the Japanese driver in the lead of the race. In the next few laps the gap would evaporate, leaving a straight fight to the finish with just minutes remaining. Ryota Wong would manage to do just enough to keep Winter in check, including avoiding a recovering People’s Republic Ferrari from a spin, but the Minnesotan’s attack in the last sector on the last lap would prove vital to give in a chance at a pass before the finish. Winter would be all over the rear bumper of the Factory Lister coming out of Turn 19 and into the final two corners of the race. Ryota Wong would miss his braking point for the final turn, and head straight on to the outside leaving the door open for Winter. The Solvalou driver would dive to the inside, clip the rear bumper of the Lister Storm struggling to turn in, and surge by as Wong recovered from the resulting slide giving Winter and Armansson the victory.

Fabian Rei and Ryota Wong would dominate for the duration of the race, only losing their lead during pit stop sequences and the final lap of the race. Rei would check out on the onset and would leave the pack behind to battle for second before Brazil race winner Joey Alliot would pass Evgeny Restov for second place. The American would close on the Factory Lister but would never complete a pass. Restov and his co-driver James James Davies would be the first of the front runners to pit in both pit stop sequences, but even with the undercut James James Davies couldn’t do enough to take the Gerald Pereria Lister out of the lead once both the pit stop cycles were complete. The Scuderia Italia Ferrari would end up third overall after Chris Winter cleared Davies before going on to win the race.

Winning in the Independent’s Class would be the duo of Darren Older Jr. and Valeri Kozar, giving the duo two class wins out of two races to start the season. Kozar would take the lead from Andrea Massini in the Minarae Ferrari half way through the race and would never look back. The Commonwealth duo were rewarded with eleven points for their Independent’s bid, with a bonus point being awarded for finishing fifth overall. The Minarae crew would suffer heartbreak with ten minutes remaining, as Nathan Scott suffered a suspension failure on the exit curb at turn 1, dropping him out of the race from Second in class. The main benefactor of the Minarae Ferrari dropping out would be the Boutsen Ginion Corvette of Kikkawa and Gauthier, finishing ninth overall and second in class.

The other podium finishers from Brazil would come back from strategy mistakes to score points after the two hour race was completed. The Carson Speedworks and Gulf Racing crew made incorrect tire compound decisions on their first pit stops, choosing a too hard compound for the cooling track as the race ran into the night. Jacques Malenfant and Roland Davidson would work together to get through the pack and would be rewarded with finishing eighth and tenth overall respectively.

Race Results – After 54 Laps

214MRei/WongGerald Pereria+0.348
328MRestov/DaviesScuderia Italia+4.528
556IOlder Jr./KozarCommonwealth+27.040
641MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+27.463
727Mvan Walwijk/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+28.049
92IKikkawa/GauthierBoutsen Ginion+55.890
1230IJenkins/PellerinGlobex Scorpio+1:07.567
133IBourne/TuckerBoutsen Ginion+1:09.903
1421IVan Dycke/SeronBelgio+1:10.833
1555IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1:12.219
16007MMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+1:23.505
1903MLe Fay/FazioSolvalou+1:31.154
2009IMelvanov/KabirovChris Short+1:39.244
2299IEinfeldt/von SchweigerPeople's Republic+1 Lap
2311IMestach/JafferBest In The World+1 Lap
2496IFidelis/HortinBest In The World+1 Lap
2561INavarro/SimmonsFulcrum+3 Laps*
2677IScott/MassiniMinarae+3 Laps*
29555IA.+V. Reyna-SanchezTom DouglasEngine
3032IAxelsen/PedersenRMRContact Damage

Fastest Lap – Car 6 (Gulf Aston Martin – Rossi/Davidson) – 2:07.583

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Paul Jenkins and Luc Pellerin: Earned their fourth place in class after struggling with pace so far this year.

Reject of The Race – Best In The World: A spin from Hortin resulted in two very damaged Lambos as Jaffer ran out of talent in failing to avoid his teammate.