Karting-Best drivers Andrew Gabriel and Debra Mellon look forward to race on extended track


Group photo of the prize winners

To realise all these projects, the Seychelles Karting Association (SKA) will rely on funding from donors and it has said it welcomes any kind of help – be it financial or in kind.

SKA chairperson Liza Rene-Cosgrow said this last weekend during the award presentation ceremony at the Stad Linite lounge where Debra Mellon and Andrew Gabriel picked up their best driver of the year titles.

“We need to add 300m to the track to bring it to the international standard length of 980m so that we can host international races,” said chairperson Rene-Cosgrow, who was re-elected into office last year after taking over from Cyril Simon in 2010.

Winner of the SF4 class and the Enduro challenge together with his twin brother Yannick Gabriel and Debra Mellon, Andrew Gabriel took the best driver of the year title for the first time.

“It hasn’t been an easy season as there were lots of challenges. I’m really happy to win the title and this is thanks to the encouragement I received from my father Terrence (Gabriel) and other people involved with karting,” said Andrew Gabriel.

First in the SF Ladies division and seventh in the SF4 class raced alongside male drivers, Debra Mellon won the female driver of the year title for the second time after an initial win in 2010.

“I’m very happy to win the title as I give my best each time I’m on the track because I love racing,” said Mellon, who is encouraging more ladies to join karting.

“Many ladies think karting is an expensive sport. In fact it is, but this is not the case here as the SKA has karts available and drivers wishing to compete can just borrow them. I hope to see more ladies join karting next year to make the races more exciting,” said Mellon.

The young male driver of the year is Rodney Salome who won the SF5 category, while Shirin Azemia, who got three first places on the way to winning the SFN class, was voted the best young female driver.

The SKA also gave out a series of awards to people whom they think deserve some recognition in their respective fields.

There were three prizes for best volunteers and the winners are Terrence Gabriel (medical), Cyril Simon (time-keeping) and Leslie Mathiot (clerk of course).

Amadave Camille, who competes in the SF5 category and finished fifth out of six drivers, was called to the front to collect the memorial cup sponsored by the Rene family and given to someone who has shown great determination and will during the season.

This year, the SKA sent two teams to the 12-hour endurance race in Dubai, with team one being ranked 27th overall in the professional class and fifth among nations, while team two finished 30th – 14 laps behind the SKA one team.

The SKA team one was captained by David Rene who had as teammates Roland Delcy, Marc Delcy, Peter Fred and Damien Bonnelame.

John Simon led the SKA team two and the other drivers on the squad were Dane Decommarmond, Redman Bonnelame, Stephan Simon and Marvin Sophie.

Dane Decommarmond was given the gold medal as the best newcomer by the SKA, while Redman Bonnelame received that for best newcomer in the officiating field after their performances at the Dubai kartdrome during the 12-hour endurance race.

And all sponsors who contributed generously towards the two SKA teams’ involvement in the 12-hour endurance race in Dubai received tokens of appreciation.

The category winners were David Rene (SF1), Peter Fred (SF3), Andrew Gabriel (SF4), Debra Mellon (SFL), Rodney Salome (SF5), Michael Padayachy (SF6) and Shirin Azemia (SFN).

“It’s been a remarkable season for karting as we have run a number of local races and been able to send two teams to take part in an international competition. We also thank all the sponsors as without them we would not have been able to meet our target.

“As for next year, we hope to have more races with tougher and more nail-biting competitions among drivers,” said chairperson Rene-Cosgrow.

G. G.

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