Karting: 12-hour endurance race in Dubai-SKA team one ranked 27th place in pro class


Members of the Seychelles teams

Rene had as teammates Roland Delcy, Marc Delcy, Peter Fred and Damien Bonnelame.

Meanwhile, the SKA team two led by John Simon and with drivers Dane Decommarmond, Redman Bonnelame, Stephan Simon and Marvin Sophie, were unlucky to finish 30th – 14 laps behind the SKA one team. The SKA team two were hit with a number of penalties and also had driver problems during the entire event.

According to SKA team one captain David Rene, the event’s final results do not reflect the good performance put on by members of the two teams.

He added that they were encouraged by the individual pace of some of the local drivers who were as quick as many of the professional drivers from the top teams.

There were 20 professional teams taking part and the Seychelles teams were somehow drawn in the pro class, something they questioned before the event and was never resolved.

The SKA team two had a better placing on the starting grid than team one but as the race progressed the latter moved up and by the fifth hour they had gone up to 24th position, only to make a drop after the organisers began crediting the heavier teams with extra laps at the half-way stage.

It was also a good thing that the two Seychelles teams started towards the back of the grid as the new anti-clockwise direction announced by the organisers minutes before the race led to the first corner becoming a bottleneck.

With all the karts heading there at high speed many collided and one driver was flipped out of his kart and into the path of another. Luckily he suffered only minor injuries, but the race was not stopped.

During the 12 hours of racing, the SKA drivers were involved in many tight scraps with the professionals and even a collision with a tyre barrier after another kart rammed the Seychelles kart off the track and into the barriers. Thankfully the local drivers were able to get back in and continue without any damage to the kart.

This was only one of the countless incidents that happened to many teams during the event. A few European-based teams even complained about the standard of driving and the fact that certain rules were not applied fairly.

SKA team one drivers performed to the best of their abilities – both on and off the track – as their pit strategy worked effectively. As for the SKA team two, they were frustrated by numerous pit lane infringements which led to many penalties, but the worst was when one of their drivers fell ill during his stint and had to be withdrawn. The team had to change their stint plan and work on a makeshift version amid all the chaos.

Overall the drivers did very well individually, but there is a need for more consistency among the team drivers in order to better this result in future.

All the drivers, however, gained enormous experience just by taking part in the endurance event. The experience gained would surely help them in future karting competitions – both locally and internationally.

Bahrain-based team Batelco won the event, completing 567 laps. Dubai-based Falcon racing team took second place and UAE Arrow racing team finished third.
SKA team one completed 541 laps, while team two did 527.

The SKA has said sending the first all-Seychellois team abroad was an achievement, adding it would not have been possible without the help of the many sponsors.

SKA chairperson Liza Rene-Cosgrow and all members would like to thank all the sponsors, especially the Seychelles Tourism Board who was actively on site at the race, their families and friends for their timely support. The SKA hopes to meet them all in a special get-together soon.