The first UAE GT Championship race at the Yas Marina Circuit produced an upset as Raed Hassan and Bassam Kronfli powered their MSW Ginetta to overall victory, and GTA class win, in the one-hour endurance yesterday, their first win in this series.
Racing on the North Circuit figuration at the Abu Dhabi facility as part of the National Race Day series, the pair diced with the pre-race favourite pairing of Karim al Azhari and Fabien Giroix in the TAM Auto Engineering-powered Corvette for much of the race.
But a punctured tyre on the Corvette dropped al Azhari and Giroix out of contention in the closing stages and allowed Kronfli to cross the line in first place.
Kronfli said it had only been when he had got back to the pits that he realised he and Hassan were winners.
"I crossed the line and was not sure we had won but I could see when I drove into parc ferme and saw my crew, there were big smiles all around," he said.
Hassan added: "I had to preserve the tyres in the first stint before handing over to Bassam who showed what a big heart he has. He drove brilliantly."
The GTB class of the series was won by Jon Simmonds and Robert Quaife in the MSW Porsche, while Robert Cregan came out on top in the GTC class at the wheel of his GulfSport Maserati car.
Khalid bin Hadher had a mixed day in the UAE Touring Car Championship.
The Emirati driver had convincingly won the first race of the day in his Performance Racing Seat, but then had to be content with fourth place in the second race as he ran out of fuel.
Andre Ramdhanny, who had been second in the opening race in his MSW Seat car, came through to win the second race.
Jordan Grogor and Rob Borff won one race apiece in the UAE Sportscar series.
Kalus Kresnik had the best of things in the Suzuki Swift Cup series, winning the first and third races, with Costas Papantonis claiming the second race.