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Karim Al Azhari stormed to victory in Round Two of the TRD 86 Cup with first place finish in both races over the weekend

Iconic circuit also roared to Le Mans-style open-top racers, as the series introduced the Radical Middle East Cup for 2016

Yas Marina Circuit hosted the return of Yas Racing Series in 2016 this weekend as fans and drivers enjoyed another two days of closely-fought track action.

During Friday and Saturday, fans were treated a range of competitive races, including the TRD 86 Cup, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and the Formula Gulf 1000. Spectators were also treated to an exciting new addition in the form of the Radical Middle East Cup offering them the chance to see the unique Le Mans-style open-top sports cars on the world-famous track for the first time. 

In the TRD 86 Cup – Yas Marina Circuit’s single-make championship – Karim Al Azhari started the new year in the same fashion he closed out 2015: on top of the driver’s leader board, with convincing wins over the two races.

In the first race, Al Azhari finished ahead of the pack with a total time of 21 minutes, 30.389 seconds, followed 11.703 seconds later by Shihab Al Faheem, with Ahmed Al Melhai taking third 20.631 seconds behind the leader.

The second round saw Al Azhari beat his first round time by almost three seconds, taking the chequered flag and first place honours with a total time of 21 minutes, 27.770 seconds. Ahmed Al Melihi improved on his first round showing by coming second 21.271 seconds later, with Mohammed Abdul Ghaffer putting in a determined race to finish in third 26.242 seconds after Al Azhari.

Following the weekend’s racing, Karim Al Azhari remains at the top of the TRD 86 Cup leaderboard overall, with four rounds to go.

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, the most successful one-make GT series in the Middle East, saw Jeremy Schmidt dominate across the weekend. The UAE-based driver took first place in both races, meaning he has cemented his place at the top of the driver standings with four rounds left in the current season.

New at the circuit in 2016, the Radical Middle East Cup also thrilled the crowds with a fun and competitive debut. Richard Ardolino drove consistently well to take first place, with Lutter Lofreda and Julian Griffen coming second and third, respectively in a real spectacle for fans in the grandstands.

Yas Racing Series also included the Formula Gulf 1000, the UAE’s national single-seater championship, featuring cars with identical slicks and wings, as well as UAE Time Attack – a highly dynamic race series that sees production-based sports cars compete for the fastest single lap.

Speaking after the weekend’s packed racing schedule, Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said: “This has been another great programme for grassroots and professional racing enthusiasts in the UAE. Through our Yas Motor Racing Club we are always striving to bring high quality, affordable motorsport to the local community and the return of Yas Racing Series is always a highly anticipated event among the local and regional fan base.

With such a wide range of vehicles and driver abilities competing across an array of championships, the series offers plenty of choice for motor sport enthusiasts and we look forward to seeing how the season unfolds in the next few months.”  

Following the weekend’s racing, fans can now keep up with all the action on Yas TV, a new motorsport channel dedicated to following local motorsport.  Highlights from the weekend’s racing can be viewed at Yas TV

For more information on Yas Racing Series and the TRD 86 Cup, please visit: or call 800 YAS (927).

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