Fair Racing Team’s Pim Van Ark is currently in pole position for this Sunday’s upcoming battle in the desert of Dubai with a time of 1:41.374. With Hong Kong Sim Racing’s Edmund Wong just a couple of tenths behind and temperatures all but guaranteeing a high rate of attrition, this desert battle is going to be a race to remember! Van Ark leads the P2 class standings from Michal Nizio by an impressive margin, will this race end in yet another victory in a season that he has dominated with three wins already?
Further back in the LMP3 class RF2 Asia admin Mark Robinson will be looking to claw back some of the gap that has been created by series leader Arkadiusz Otreba of Viper Virtual Racing. The pair have finished with Otreba on the top step of the podium and Robinson in second for consecutive races. Robinson and his Tri-Continental team mates will be wondering and hoping that third time is the charm in Dubai! Both, however, could be in for a shock with neither having set a competitive qualifying time with just a few days remaining to do so. Current pole sitter Andrew Burrows lap of 1:42.272 is just ahead of Otreba’s VVR teammate Kamil Smieja. Having completed just 36 qualifying laps at the time of writing, Smieja is hot on Burrows’ heels and looking to open his scoring in the LMP3 category championship. Will this be a case of team mates taking points from each other? The pair have certainly not entered a shared car so only Sunday’s race will tell. Elsewhere in the class, winner of the opening LMP3 round Grzegorz Bulat will be thinking carefully about how he will regain his early advantage given his DNF at the last race in Sepang and non-participation in Shanghai.
However, surely the most contested championship currently is the GTE series. Currently led by recent RF2 Asia GP3 champion Alexis Clapano on 90 points, the series is really hotting up. Last time out in Sepang saw a brilliant result from second place Adam Karkuszewski to take a victory that he must had felt had been long overdue following three second place finishes. At the time of writing the GTE field has part-man part-machine Mada Andhika in pole position with a 1:54.365 after a staggering 169 laps. Having worked through a hand injury that left him driving stick shift in the GP3 championship, playing chicken with a local active volcano, just so he could participate in an RF2 Asia event, securing a new wheel to replace a broken one only hours before a race and still managing to drive more laps than any other person in the league, Andhika is beginning to frighten the league admins with his determination to be on the grid. Only a family event of 300 people at his house stopped his participation in the RF2 Asia GP3 finale, and there was speculation that he may have had to be drugged and tied up to make that happen. Andhika has had a run of good results in recent races and will be looking to catch third place Pol Faustino, with just 10 points separating the two in the championship.
The RF2 Asia 2.4hours Endurance Series race Round 5 in Dubai will take place on Sunday 29th July at 10:00 UTC+0. Qualifying times must be set by Saturday 28th at 10:00 UTC+0.
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