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Category: V8 Supercars ME

Ezra Idafar - Reem International CircuitBahraini racing driver Ezra Idafar continued his impressive form in the 2010/2011 WGA Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship during the latest round at Reem International Circuit in Riyadh on Thursday, 20th January, by securing his third victory of the season in the SC06 Class.

Marking his first experience of the technical 3.8-kilometre Saudi Arabian track, the 18-year-old quickly got to grips with the layout and after a trouble-free practice session he qualified second in class for both races.

Heading into the event with a 12 point lead in the SC06 standings, following a memorable double win during the first event of the season at Bahrain International Circuit in December, Ezra increased his winning streak to three during race one with a fantastic performance – including the fastest lap.

Getting away well at the start and wasting no time in taking the class lead, the Manama student ran close to the tail of the faster SC09 cars ahead. Improving with every lap, the outcome never looked in doubt and he sealed his third win on the trot in style.

Keen to maintain his unbeaten run, Ezra headed into race two second on the grid again in the SC06 Class but his participation came to a sudden conclusion at the beginning of lap two following a major engine failure.

Running in second place at the end of the opening lap, smoke started to appear from his Chevrolet Lumina. Shortly after crossing the start/finish line as he entered lap two, the V8 engine in Ezra’s car expired and he was forced to pull off the circuit at Turn One.

Although disappointed with the way his maiden weekend of racing at Reem International Circuit ended, Ezra‘s race one victory means he maintains his place at the top of the SC06 driver standings ahead of the return to Sakhir in Bahrain for round three of the season next month.

“I really enjoyed the racing in Saudi Arabia”, he commented, “It was great to win race one and I’m sure we could have challenged for the win again in race two but the engine blew. Obviously that was a shame but I still had a great time at Reem, it’s quite a technical track and is a lot of fun to drive.”

For the next event on the 2010/2011 schedule, the WGA Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship will return to Bahrain International Circuit on Friday, 18th February, and Saturday, 19th February, where the category will run as support to the high profile GP2 Asia Series.

2010/2011 WGA Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship SC06 Class Points:
1st Ezra Idafar

Photo by Chris Odukwe

Ezra IdafarTeenage racer Ezra Idafar made a dream start to the 2010/2011 WGA Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship at his home track, Bahrain International Circuit, on Friday, 3rd December, with two pole positions, a pair of faultless class wins and the fastest lap in each race.

Returning to competitive action for the first time since the penultimate round of the 2009/2010 season back in March, the 18-year-old student from Manama didn’t show any rustiness at all as he dominated the SC06 Class of the one-make Middle Eastern series.

Leading the way in qualifying at the Sakhir track to secure two excellent pole position starts, Ezra comfortably controlled his class in each encounter and impressively made in-roads on the SC09 runners in their up-rated 6.0-litre Chevrolet Luminas.

“It’s been great to be back racing and to start the championship with two wins, two poles and two fastest laps is fantastic – I’m really happy”, said Ezra, “We had a good run last season but I had to miss a few races because of my school commitments. This time, I should be able to race in all of the rounds so hopefully I can challenge for the SC06 title. There’s a long way to go though!”

During his first full season of motor racing in the Chevrolet Supercars this time last year, Ezra ended the championship a highly creditable fourth overall in the SC06 Class with one class victory and five other podiums from the 10 races he contested.

Having made such an excellent start to the 2010/2011 campaign, he is now looking forward to the next round of the WGA Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship which will take Ezra to Saudi Arabia’s Reem International Circuit for the first time on 20th/21st January.

From there the Supercars will return to Bahrain for round three on 17th/18th/19th February, where the category will support the GP2 Asia Series, and they will remain in the Kingdom for the fourth round on 11th/12th/13th March where the series will form part of the support package to the opening Grand Prix of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi plays host to the fifth round of the Chevrolet Supercars on 8th/9th April and the championship will reach its conclusion approximately a month later on 13th/14th May in Doha, Qatar, at the Losail International Circuit.

Photo by Chris Odukwe / www.chrisximages.com

It’?s now your chance to race with Meezer Racing in the Chevrolet V8 Supercars Championship.

The 2010/2011 season will kick off at Bahrain International Circuit on the 2nd and 3rd of December. The second meeting will be at Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This season will see the championship support the Australian V8 Supercars at Bahrain and the usual support race for Bahrain Formula One GP. The Yas Marina round will be in April, then the championship will be concluded in May at Losail International Circuit during an amazing night race.

Become part of Meezer Racing to benefit from our exclusive drivers’ development programs and intensive online presence.

Fully inclusive arrive and drive packages with driver?s management and development start form $100,000 in an SC06 car and $160,000 in an SC09 car.

Call us now to start racing with Meezer
+966-3-8451145
info@Meezer.com
www.Meezer.com

For more information about the championship, please visit the championship website at www.supercarsme.com

Raed RaffiiA press conference was held at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East where the winner of the 2009-10 season of the Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship, Fahad Al Musalam, received his prize of a three day test session in Australia with Australia V8 Supercars team Paul Morris. Al Musalam won the series following a heated season which was full of on track action as the championship toured the Middle East, visiting several locations around the GCC. It was announced that Al Musalam will be giving his prize away to fellow competitor Raed Raffii in an effort to give yet another Bahraini driver exposure in the international limelight. Al Musalam was joined at the speaker’s table by Championship Organizer Sherif Al Mahdy and Bahraini racing prodigy Raed Raffii.

Sherif Al Mahdy, Championship Organizer of the Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship, stated; “I would like to express my deepest thanks to all members of the media who have been present throughout the season and supported the championship. Without your assistance the series would not be the regional success it is today. The prize for the winner of this year’s season will be a three day test session, taking place in Australia as part of the Australia V8 Supercars Championship. The first day of the test session will include 30 laps at Norwell in a level two Superschool car, allowing Raed the opportunity to adapt to the right hand drive. The second day will include a guest driver spot at an official test day, while the third day will be the actual test session at Queensland Raceway Circuit in a V8 Supercar with the renowned team Paul Morris. This year’s prize will be something very special and extraordinary as Martin Whitaker is now part of the Australia V8 Supercars Championship. The prize will provide international exposure for not only the winner, but will also highlight the motorsport potential which is growing at a tremendous rate in the Middle East through series such as the Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship.

Title holder Al Musalam commented, “this is the second consecutive title I have won and received the prize for. Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia and test with the Gary Rogers racing team, which was an invaluable experience and helped my development as a driver. I feel it is important to give other local drivers this opportunity too, and this is why I would like to give the test session to Raed Raffii. I am very happy to give him this opportunity and he will learn a lot from it. I would like to express my thanks to Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Sherif Al Mahdy and all those who have shown their support for me throughout this season.

Raed Raffii stated, “I am very happy to receive this prize from Fahad. I am very proud to be able to represent the Kingdom of Bahrain in Australia and demonstrate the potential we have here for motorsport. My thanks go out to Fahad, Shaikh Salman and Sherif for making this opportunity possible for me. I will present Bahrain in the best light possible during the test session and will give a good performance. It is an opportunity of a life time and I am sure I will learn much from it.

Raed Raffii will be traveling with Championship Organizer Sherif Al Mahdy in June to Australia. The test session will take place at the Queensland Raceway Circuit with the Paul Morris racing team and has been fully paid by Bahrain International Circuit. Shaikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Acting CEO of Bahrain International Circuit, expressed his delight for Raffii’s opportunity and wished him good luck for the test session.

Source:
Bahrain International Circuit

Raed Raffii - Meezer TeamThe final round of the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East at the Zain Reem circuit in Saudi Arabia could not have started better for Raed Raffii and the Meezer Team. Free Practice saw Raed at the top of the timesheets and in qualifying, where it really counts he again secured the top spot, not just for race 1 but for race 2 also.

The weekend was poised for a very exciting battle between the 3 top drivers in the Championship, Fahad AlMusalam, Tarek ElGammal and Abdulaziz AlYaeesh. Sadly Raed was not battling for the championship owing to the level of mechanical failure he had endured during the season but he was determined to prove, as he has done all season, that he is the fastest driver in the series.

After qualifying coach Malcolm commented “I had no doubt Raed would secure pole here, he just needs his car to run well and there is no reason why he can’t end the season with 2 more wins”

Race 1
Unfortunately, a slight misjudgement at the start cost Raed 1st position going into T1, Raed explains “I was just going a little too fast for the gear I was in and when the lights went green I hit the rev-limiter”. Championship contender Tarek ElGammal then led the train of cars through turn 1. A battle then ensued between Raed and AlMusalam which saw AlMusalam make an audacious pass into Turn 1 to take 2nd place. There then followed a titanic battle between Raed, AlMusalam and ElGammal which is all captured in great detail in the video linked below. Raed briefly passed both ElGammal and AlMusalam at the hairpin as they battled for position but this left all 3 cars going side by side into the tricky double-left. Raed sensibly left room on the inside, just as well as a sideways AlMusalam came by in a full 4-wheel drift which would have scored highly in any Drift Competition. Unfortunately Raed’s generosity in leaving space let ElGammal back in! to the lead. Raed chased hard and was many times alongside the green and chrome car but ElGammal retained his lead until the flag with Raed finishing in 2nd.

Raed said later “My car and my tyres were awesome, if I’d kept the lead at turn 1 I would have been able to pull away and win the race easily”. Coach Malcolm explains “This is a very tough track to overtake on, you really need to drive in front to make a mistake and Tarek didn’t”.

Race 2
Raed Raffii - Meezer TeamRaed again started on pole-position and after some words from Coach Malcolm Raed managed to defend his position into Turn 1 and almost immediately pulled out a substantial gap. Raed was never threatened and was cruising to another dominant victory. Coach Malcolm said “If Raed exits turn 1 in the lead and his car works then everyone else is racing for 2nd place, he is untouchable”.

Sadly for Raed, the Meezer Team and all his many thousand fans his car did not work for the whole race. Towards the end of the race with a huge lead coming out of the final turn there was a catastrophic failure of the rear suspension which almost resulted in a very big crash. Thankfully Raed’s supreme skill at the wheel brought the car under control and he managed to drive it off the circuit to safety. So, yet again mechanical failure had cruely robbed him of a win, coach Malcolm summarised “Well, it’s been the story of Raed’s season, it started off with mechanic! al issues at Yas Marina back in November and it finishes the same way. These cars are brand new and still being developed, the guys at the BIC have worked very hard over the season and made real improvements but Raed’s had it particularly bad. I think he has proved to those who follow the series that he is the fastest driver, he just doesn’t have the trophies to prove it”

So, the season has ended, Fahad AlMusalam was again crowned Champion. Raed and the Meezer Team started planning for the 2010/2011 season. Fahad Hizam, Meezer CEO says “next season will be different, the cars are better now and many changes are being made for next season, we will be running two cars with a full racing team.”.

The Meezer Team will continue to keep fans updated on our plans and progress throughout the off-season and we thank you all for following us, we really appreciate your support.

Visit Raed Raffi‘s profile page at Driver Database.

Raed RaffiiAs the Chevrolet Supercar series heads for its final round at the fabulous Zain Reem circuit in Saudi Arabia, Raed and the Meezer Team are hoping to repeat their performance in the previous round there, where Raed qualified on pole for both races. Raed stormed to victory ahead of local driver Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh who is also assisted by the Meezer Team and coach Malcolm.

In race 2 it was again Raed next to Abdulaziz on the grid with the Saudi driver just inching ahead at Turn 1. There then followed a number of lead changes over the next few corners but unfortunately Raed got into a tussle with Fahad Al-Musalam which led to damage on his car making it very difficult to drive but Raed still managed a creditable 5th place.

So, what is expected for this last round. Coach Malcolm was predictably upbeat “Well, Raed and Abdulaziz locked out the front row last time here and won a race each, I expect the race to be between these 2 drivers again. Raed has been the class of the field and Abdulaziz is driving better than at any time in his career.”

With Abdulaziz just 5 points behind Fahad Al-Musalam for the championship (after dropped scores) it will be a tense and exciting event.

Why not follow the action. If you can, please come to Reem for the race. If not, it will be shown on Saudi Sport TV or if neither of these are an option to you, please follow the updates on our facebook and Twitter Pages http://www.facebook.com/MeezerGroup and http://twitter.com/MeezerGroup.

If you have friends interested in Motorsport then please invite them to connect with us on Facebook.

Raed has been blown away by the support of his fans this year and regularly posts on his facebook page http://www.facebook.com/RaedRaffiiOfficialFanPage.

meezerThe V8 Championship returned to its home at the Bahrain International Circuit for the 6th Round of the Championship which supported the inaugural F1 Grand Prix of the 2010 season.

Despite the huge disappointment of the last round at Yas Marina the team and Raed had high hopes for this round. Coach Malcolm said “Raed is very quick here, if his car works well he will win, I have no doubts”. Qualifying proved Malcolm was correct, Raed has set the 2 fastest laps and was therefore on pole position for both races.

meezer_2RACE 1
Things didn’t go quite to plan however as Raed, in defending from the always fast-starting Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh had allowed Fahad Al-Musalam to sneak by on the inside of Turn 1. Raed was staying close to Fahad but Abdulaziz was also close behind and small mistake towards the end of the lap saw the Saudi driver sneak by. Raed was now 3rd but soon settled into a good rhythm and was keeping a good pace. Coach Malcolm said “I wasn’t too worried as both Abdulaziz and Fahad were leaning heavily on their tyres, Raed’s generally a bit easier on his and I felt he could still retake the lead”.

As it turned out Raed did take the lead but only after a coming together between Al-Yaeesh and Al-Musalam which saw both drivers leave the circuit. Coach Malcolm said “Fahad was struggling with lock ups and made a mistake into Turn 3. They raced side-by-side through Turn 4, Fahad had the line for Turn 5 but seemed to want to force Abdulaziz off the track, unfortunately this was wheel to wheel which you can’t do in the SC09s”. Abdulaziz’s’ wheel shattered and not being able to turn went straight on, along with Fahad. It was a real shame as it had been a good clean fight up to that point”.

It was then just a question of Raed looking after the car and bringing it home. It turned out he did have major problems with vibration and couldn’t push as hard as he would have liked.

RACE 2
With better tyres and some words from coach Malcolm on better turn 1 strategy Raed was set for a 2nd win in race 2. Things started perfectly and Raed did exactly as he’d planned and managed to stay ahead at Turn 1 and through Turn 2. Coach Malcolm said “To be honest, when I saw him exiting Turn 2 with a few car lengths advantage I thought we’d sail home with the win, once he’s out in front he’s unstoppable”. Unfortunately that thought had hardly had time to register when Raed slowed and pulled off onto the side of the circuit.

meezer_3No-one in the Meezer Team knew what had happened and faces that where filled with joy suddenly registered that familiar look of disappointment and disbelief. As it turned out the throttle cable had snapped, a part that cost peanuts to buy but costs so much when it fails.

So, another weekend of highs and lows for Raed and the Meezer Team. Coach Malcolm was philosophical “Well, at least it was a High & Low weekend and not a Low & Low weekend, we’ve had too many of those. Raed has been by far the unluckiest driver this season, he’s clearly the fastest but fast doesn’t win Championships, you need luck and I haven’t found a way of teaching that yet”.

The final round of the Championship is at the Zain Reem circuit in Saudi Arabia on 1st April. The last time the V8s ran there, Raed was again on pole for both races and won the first, let hope for more of the same to round off the season.

Bahrain’s Ezra Idafar upheld local honour during the penultimate event of the 2009/2010 Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship in Sakhir on Sunday, 14th March, by taking his sixth class podium of the campaign on his last appearance of the season.

Competing as part of the support package to the opening race of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, 17-year-old Ezra battled car problems throughout the weekend but still managed to secure a pair of good results – fifth position in the SC06 class during round 11 on Saturday, 13th March, and a fine second place on Sunday morning.

Although the practice session on Friday, 12th March, was compromised for the Gulf Computer Services-supported driver due to an array of problems, namely a broken fan-belt and braking issues, he hit back well at his home circuit during qualifying to set the third fastest time in class.

Running well during the first seven-lap encounter on Saturday, Ezra’s progress was hampered once more by recurring brake problems but he fought-back well to finish fifth in class. Fellow Bahraini Isa Kooheji took second in the SC06 Development Class but because he was entered as a guest driver, and therefore ineligible to score, Ezra took the championship points for fourth position.

Before Sunday’s race had even reached mid-distance, Ezra experienced yet more braking issues with his 6.0-litre Lumina. Holding second place in class at the time, rather than push-on to catch the SC06 leader, Ezra opted to reduce his pace in order to conserve the car as much as possible. In doing so he managed to reach the finish without further problems to claim his sixth Chevrolet Supercars podium.

Although there is one event remaining in the 2009/2010 Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship, this weekend’s action marked the last of the campaign for Ezra as he will not participate in the final two races in Saudi Arabia just over a fortnight from now.

“Finishing my last race of the season on the podium is a great way for my championship to end, especially at home in Bahrain”, he said, We had a lot of problems with the brakes again all weekend and although I was pretty disappointed after Saturday’s race, the podium in race two made up for it.

“I did have to back off to make sure we finished in second place as the brakes started to go again from about lap three. In the end it was ok and I was able to get the car to the finish. I’ve enjoyed the racing and it was great to be part of a Formula One race weekend once again.”

Provisional 2009 Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship ‘Development Class’ Points:
1st Faisal Raffii, 86pts; 2nd Alqassim Hamidaddin, 50pts; 3rd Husam Al-Saleh, 42pts;
4th Ezra Idafar, 38pts

Raed and the Meezer team are poised and ready for one of the biggest Race Weekends in the Chevrolet V8 Supercar Championship. This weekend sees the V8s back at their home circuit in Bahrain supporting what is one of the most eagerly awaited Formula 1 races ever. Schumacher is back, Button and Hamilton in the same team, Alonso in a Ferrari and a host of new teams and drivers on the grid.

But of more interest to readers of this newsletter are the 2 races of the penultimate round of the V8 Championship and there is all to play for at the head of the table. As regular readers will know, Raed has been plagued by bad luck this season and whilst mathematically possible for him to win the Championship it relies on other drivers having DNFs, not impossible but realistically the Championship is likely to be between Fahad Al Musalam, Tarek El Gammal and Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh.

You can bet Raed will still be there fighting for pole positions, fastest laps and race wins to prove that, when his equipment works he is the class of the field.

It’s an interesting race as all this weekend’s races will be on a new circuit layout, only ever used before for the short-lived Bahrain 24hr race. Of the V8 drivers, only Fahad Al Musalam has driven this circuit layout before as he competed in that race. Coach Malcolm said “The new section is very important, it’s going to add about 30 seconds to the laptime and the driver who gets this right will be right up the front”.

In preparation for this weekend Raed has been driving an F1 Simulator based in downtown Bahrain which just a couple of days ago was setup with the new circuit layout. Raed said “It is very technical, really tough to get right. I was 2nd fastest but still a good couple of seconds behind the sim test driver, I was losing all that time in the new section”.

Thankfully the drivers will get a 30 minute practice session early on Friday morning to try and master this section. Qualifying for the V8 race will be at 12:50 Bahrain time on Friday with Race 1 scheduled for 17:25 Saturday and Race 2 at 09:40 Sunday.

A final word from coach Malcolm “Raed is very fast here, he dominated the last race on the old GP layout and providing he does a half decent job of the new section I see no reason why he won’t be right up the front and given a clean race, on the top step of the podium at the end”.

For latest updates stay connected at
http://www.facebook.com/MeezerGroup

Ezra Idafar made his first visit to the top step of a Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship podium at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, 20th February, with an outstanding debut class win during the 10th round of the season.

As the youngest driver in the championship, the 17-year-old Bahraini’s fantastic victory meant a piece of Chevrolet Supercars ME history was made at the 5.5km track – a tremendous result which consolidated fourth position in the SC06 Development Class driver standings.

Realistically, the Gulf Computer Services-backed racer should have enjoyed a double victory over the weekend but he was forced out of the opening encounter just a lap and a half from the chequered flag while leading his class. Having seen off the challenge of Faisal Raffii, a clutch failure resulted in a disappointing retirement but he bounced back tremendously in race two.

“I’m so pleased to finally get my first class win in Chevrolet Supercars”, said Ezra, “We really should have had two wins this weekend but the clutch problem in race one meant it wasn’t to be. I was so determined to take the win in the second race after the race one retirement, it was a great battle with Faisal (Raffii). The win was the perfect way to end the weekend at Yas Marina.”

Ezra made his intentions felt immediately during Free Practice on Friday, 19th February, by setting the fastest SC06 lap of 2m22.152 seconds. During qualifying he went on to secure a class front row start for round nine while his second best lap of the session placed him third in class on the grid for round 10.

Although the first Chevrolet Supercars race, which ran in support of the opening round of the 2010 Australian V8 Supercars Championship, resulted in another mechanical failure for Ezra’s car, he proved his credentials beyond any doubt. Without the clutch issue he would almost certainly have achieved his maiden class victory during round nine.

Determined to make amends in race two, Ezra battled tooth and nail with experienced class points leader Raffii, the lead changing hands several times. From mid-distance, Ezra took control in his Gulf Computer Services-backed 6.0-litre Lumina and went on to claim his first career win in the category by a margin of 5.5 seconds. In doing so, he also ended Raffii’s eight race winning streak.

There is now a three week break in the race calendar with rounds 11 and 12 of the 2009/2010 Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship taking place on Saturday, 13th March, and Sunday, 14th March, at the Bahrain International Circuit – Ezra’s home track – as support to the opening event of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Provisional 2009 Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship ‘Development Class’ Points:
1st Faisal Raffii, 70pts; 2nd Alqassim Hamidaddin, 40pts; 3rd Husam Al-Saleh, 35pts;
4th Ezra Idafar, 29pts