Round 5 & 6 Race Report

by Martin on January 24, 2016

Fifteen year old Cato Poulsen, Denmark’s youngest single seater racer stamped his authority on proceedings by setting a blistering pace in Qualifying to take Pole Position on 2:13.528 and five extra championship points. Saudi’s Mashuur Bal Hejaila was unable to beat this time with his best lap of 2:14.095.

IMG 2368 Round 5 & 6 Race Report

So it was inevitable that Race 1 would be close as these two talented drivers battled for the win, trading places many times. With Cato fastest in two of the three sectors of the 5.555km Formula One circuit, he was able to get past the fast starting Saudi to take the lead by the end of lap 1, but then Mash got the lead back and held it for five laps. But Cato was able to overhaul the more experienced driver to take the lead on lap 7 which he held until the end of the 50kms race. Up and coming Saudi racer Omar Gazzaz made significant improvements during testing which translated into a 3rd place in qualifying for a second row start. But after making a small mistake on lap 2, 17 year old Abdallah Beshara managed to get past and hold position comfortably to take an amazing 3rd place Gulf Oil Trophy in his very first car race.

GulfSport’s driver coach, ex Formula Renault, British GT and Le Mans 24H Champion Tommy Erdos, who has worked with many young drivers over the years, remarked that the Kingdom of Bahrain appear to have a potential champion racing driver on their hands! Omar worked very hard to catch young Italian racer Giulio Peroni and was rewarded on the penultimate lap when he managed to squeeze safely by Giulio to claim 4th place.

IMG 2533 Round 5 & 6 Race Report

Cato Poulsen’s last lap of 2:13.223 was to become a lap record for Formula Gulf and interestingly was faster than the best race lap set on Friday by the Porsche GT3s, Radicals and GT86s.

Race 2 got underway with the rookie driver from Bahrain deciding it was now time to step it up a bit. So as the front row of Cato and Mash got the green light and went full throttle down to Turn 1, young Abdallah drives around the outside of Cato and then proceeds to push his way past Mash to take the lead! However, the more experienced Saudi driver had seen him coming and politely moved out of his way to avoid the possibility of an incident and then rather neatly got his first place back. Positions were changing quickly as the tightly bunched group of racers navigated 21 turns of the challenging 5.5kms circuit and at the end of the first lap it was Mash in the lead with Cato on his bumper, his compatriot Omar Gazzaz in 3rd, Abdullah in 4th with the ace karter Giulio Peroni on his tail. This intense level of racing continued as these talented young drivers put in some very fast laps; all credit to their expert driver coach. The day finished with the young Danish driver taking the two largest trophies back to Denmark, the medium sized trophies went back to Saudi and the small but beautiful trophies being proudly carried back to Bahrain.

IMG 2512 Round 5 & 6 Race Report

Rounds 7 & 8 get underway next Friday 29th on the Grand Prix circuit in Dubai when another young driver will be making his UAE debut - Gulhuseyn Abdullayev. An F3 test with Campos Racing in Spain awaits the eventual Formula Gulf Champion.

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