Dubai: May 28th 2011: Fabienne Lanz the darling of the Dubai Kartdrome made history as she took the coveted first place chequered flag on behalf of her team Dubai Falcons, breaking the two year grip of the Batelco team who failed to make the podium this time round.
This is her fifth campaign in the endurance series and travelled from South Africa to compete for the Dubai Falcon Team for the second time. Fabienne was excited to make the trip back to her second home that is Dubai.
“I love to come to Dubai, the place is so alive and there are so many interesting things to do here, every time I visit I find something new to discover”, commented Fabienne.
Instead of the normal twenty four hours race, with rising temperatures and in order to add a little more excitement for the summer months the race was reduced to a more favourable twelve hours.
Starting at 9:00pm on Friday 27th, over three quarters of the race would be completed during darkness under floodlights therefore posing its own challenges.
Racing alongside Fabienne the Dubai Falcons team consisted of some of the best racing drivers from the UAE, lead by Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, with Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Saeed Al Mehairi.
As is the norm the Sodi leisure karts are drawn from a ballot and the team had elected Sheikh Hasher to be the driver to choose the kart number, it proved to be lucky winning number 12 for the team. This was followed by the driver weigh in, where all drivers would be given weight to make up the mandatory minimum weight of 77kgs. If they weighed less than this, extra weight was added to the kart. All of the superlight Dubai Falcons had weight added, Fabienne with the most ballast at 17.5 kgs.
In the cooler evening temperatures of almost 30 degrees, practice and qualifying was set for 6:00pm, It went extremely well for the team as they quickly found pace and topped the time sheets in pole position for the race start which was very encouraging for everyone.
Mike Wilkes, Team Captain set about determining the race strategy to guide the team during the race and elected local kart ace Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum to make the famed Le Mans style start.
Fabienne took over after forty five minutes as second driver in the seat with 17.5kg of ballast added to the kart, Fabienne was unsure how it would feel but soon settled in to a good rhythm and had a faultless stint for the team.
“There are various changes to the rules for the 12 hours this time which makes everything more exciting for the teams. We each have a personal weight ballast and a reduced minimum driver stint to 45minutes also all teams must make a minimum of eighteen pit stops, so things should be interesting”, commented Fabienne
During the crucial first few hours the team had pulled a two lap lead on nearest rivals Ocean Rubber Team. The team kept their cool throughout the night and managed to maintain the gap which proved to be crucial in keeping other challengers at bay. They received no penalties during the race and the kart performed well with no mechanical mishaps, coupled with an excellent team strategy it was the recipe for success as they completed 569 laps during the grueling 12hour battle. The team finished five laps ahead of second placed Publicis Group.
This was the second round of the dubbed ‘extreme’ leisure karting Endurance Championship, round one took place on April 1st earlier in the year where Dubai Falcons took second place
The Dubai Falcon Team now leads the Championship by five points against nearest rivals Batelco who finished this race in fourth position.
In previous 24hrs races in Dubai, Fabienne holds the all time fastest lap record of 1:11.5, two Pole positions and an achievement award in 2009. This time around Fabienne has now achieved her highest podium finish taking the chequered flag in first place.
Fabienne extended a personal thank you to the team sponsors for the race, Government of Dubai, Dept of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, CPTDC, Santos Motors, Sharp Electronics and Altech.
The Dubai Falcon Racing Team, was supported personally by, Team Director Hadi Al Bloushi, Team Manager Mike Wilkes with Peter Lanz and Lex Akehurst from XSport Motorsport as support crew.
Fabienne now leaves Dubai to compete in the South African Super ROK DD2 championship race on Jun 18th