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Tag: Raed Raffii

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

Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship driver Raed Raffii was excited after his test with Paul Morris Motorsports today (Friday), and he wants more time in a V8 Supercar.

At the tender age of 21, Raffii tested Russell Ingall’s Supercheap Auto Commodore at Queensland Raceway and in doing so has become the youngest driver from the Middle East to ever drive a V8 Supercar.

“I am hopeful of being able to get back and do more testing and become better. I would definitely like to race V8 Supercars,” Raed enthused after climbing out of the driver’s seat.

“I can’t believe how fast V8 Supercars are, they’re very, very fast race cars.

“They are difficult cars to drive, very different to the Chevrolet Supercars I drive back home in Bahrain.

“I put a wheel off the track a couple of times; I found it hard to slow the car down, but then the team told me to apply more brake pressure; you have to stand on them (the brakes).”

Ingall and Paul Morris gave the young Bahraini plenty of tips to help him on his way.

“Paul took me out to show me how to drive a V8 Supercar properly and he was impressive, really quick,” Raffii commented.

“His and Russell’s advice was extremely helpful. It was a great experience, one I really enjoyed overall.

Morris described Raffii’s first V8 Supercar test as a success.

“V8 Supercars are unique cars to drive, but Raed has impressed us with his how he approached the test,” Morris said.

“He has genuine ability and is fast. Experience counts for a lot in this category, but I’m confident that with more testing he would quickly fit in and be competitive.”

V8 Supercars Australia CEO, Martin Whitaker, said Raffii’s introduction to V8 Supercars would lead to even greater interest in the category in the Middle East.

“I think what’s nice about today is that Raed has had the chance to realise his own dream and ambition to drive a V8 Supercar and I think the wonderful think about it is that he’s applied himself in a very professional manner,” Whitaker said.

“He’s listened to the advice; he’s taken the advice and slowly but surely bedded himself into driving the car, and from what I can see his lap times are very good.”

Whitaker said the test would hopefully eventuate to a Fujitsu Series drive for Raffii.

“And after that who knows what will happen,” he said.

“Most importantly from a Middle East perspective, it should help encourage greater interest in the races in both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and hopefully see that translated into more spectators, more interest from investment and a greater television audience.”

Bahrain’s Raed Raffii was all smiles today after having his first taste of a full blown V8 Supercar at Queensland Raceway.

Raffii contests the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship, winning three races in the 14 round 2009/10 series, grabbing five podiums and six pole positions.

Raffii tested 2005 V8 Supercar Champion Russell Ingall’s #39 Supercheap Auto Commodore, the speed of the state-of-the-art V8 Supercar impressing the 21 year old.

“Incredible – I can’t believe how fast V8 Supercars are, they’re very, very fast race cars,” said Raffii.

“They are difficult cars to drive, very different to the Chevrolet Supercars I drive back home in Bahrain.

“I put a wheel off the track a couple of times, I found it hard to slow the car down, but then the team told me to apply more brake pressure – you have to stand on them!”
Paul Morris assists Raffii at today’s test

Paul Morris assists Raffii at today’s test

He was given the opportunity to test the Supercheap Auto Commodore V8 Supercar by series winner Fahad Al Musalam, who tested for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2008.

Raffii was given driving tips by team owner Paul Morris and Ingall.

“Paul took me out to show me how to drive a V8 Supercar properly and he was impressive, really quick,” said Raffii.

“His and Russell’s advice was extremely helpful. It was a great experience, one I really enjoyed overall.

“I am hopeful of being able to get back and do more testing and become better. I would definitely like to race V8 Supercars.”

Morris said Raffii’s first V8 Supercar test was a success.

“V8 Supercars are unique cars to drive, but Raed has impressed us with his how he approached the test,” Morris said.

“He has genuine ability and is fast.

“Experience counts for a lot in this category but I’m confident that with more testing he would quickly fit in and be competitive.”

V8 Supercars Chief Executive Officer, Martin Whitaker said Raffii’s introduction to V8 Supercars would lead to even greater interest in the category in the Middle East.

“I think what’s nice about today is that Raed has had the chance to realise his own dream and ambition to drive a V8 Supercar and I think the wonderful think about it is that he’s applied himself in a very professional manner,” Whitaker said.

“Hopefully this will develop into a chance for Raed to get a drive in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series and after that who knows what will happen.”

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.

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
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DSC_9491The V8 Championship moved onto Round 3 which was to be held at the Al-Reem Circuit in Saudi Arabia. It was to be the first high-profile event to be held at the circuit and of course was the first race for Meezer Racing in their home country.

Meezer Racing Driver Coach Malcolm Edeson had already done some laps of the circuit so knew what to expect “it’s very technical and very different to anything else in the Middle-East, the cambers and elevation changes will be a real challenge for all drivers”

The first day was to feature a free-practice session and qualifying. It was encouraging to see Raed at the top of the timesheets as free-practice came to a close and the team were hopeful of pole-position.

QUALIFYING

Raed set an early marker with a very low 1:27 and then proceeded to register the fastest lap seen all weekend of a 1.26.9 almost a second faster than local driver Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh. As it turned out Raed had set a number of very quick laps which saw him take pole position for both races with a back on form Abdulaziz taking 2nd position in both
races.

RACE 1

The V8 Championship features rolling starts and as the green light was given the thundering V8s headed towards turn 1, a very tight corner which the team were concerned about before the race, Driver Coach Malcolm Edeson said “It’s a heavy braking zone into a very slow right-hander, the drivers will need to be careful to judge their speed from the
rolling start and the potential for contact is very high, let’s hope everyone gets through there cleanly”.

Thankfully Raed and Abdulaziz dealt with it perfectly and a good run through the next few turns saw them with a good gap to the chasing pack who were fighting amongst themselves. By the end of lap one the gap was considerable and the rest of the race was a battle between Raed and Abdulaziz with Abdulaziz occasionally looking threatening but the

closing laps saw the gap extend as the Saudi drivers’ tyres began to give up their best. So, a great win for Raed Raffii in Race 1.

RACE 2

All the driver now had more experience of the track and all thought that race 2 would be much harder. Meezer Driver Coach Malcolm Edeson said “I think with 2 races in one day everyone was mindful to avoid damage, I’m sure the drivers’ will be going for it more in Race 2″.

Again Raed headed the field alongside Al-Yaeesh as the roar of the V8s sounded to 15 simultaneous right-feet stamped on the throttle pedals. This time Al-Yaeesh had drawn alongside and went for an audacious move around the outside of Turn 1 which paid off beautifully. A little too much speed saw Al-Yaeesh run wide at the Turn 4 hairpin and
Raed was able to power past the young Saudi. The cars were inches apart as they braked for the very tricky double left and a small tap from the Saudi driver pushed Raed offline which allowed him to gain the advantage as they approach the very fast left-right complex of Turns 6 & 7.

raeds-wheelRaed had to give best to Al-Yaeesh but in doing so was slowed into the corner allowing 2007/2008 Champion Fahad Al-Musalam to sneak alongside. Neither driver was going to give in and a side-by-side battle through and out of Turn 7 allowed Tarek ElGammal & Mohammed Al-Owais to pass both drivers. Raed tried hard to regain position and in the battle that followed made contact with Al-Owais in a 3-car Turn 1 battle. It was either this or the earlier contact with Al-Musalam that bent Raed’s steering and from then on the car was almost undriveable in right-hand turns. Raed lost 2 further positions whilst struggling with the wayward steering but valiantly fought back on the closing laps to repass those two drivers finally ! finishing in 6th position.

SUMMARY

The elation of Race 1 was dulled somewhat by the disappointment of Race 2 but points were still picked up and overall Raed is in a stronger position after the race than before. Coach Malcolm said “We are obviously disappointed with the result in race 2 but Raed did well to bring the car home and secure some points. The only thing certain in racing is
that nothing is certain. Yas Marina next were we hope Raed will again show the form that put him ahead of the rest of the Championship drivers in Qualifying”

The next race for the V8 Championship will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu-Dhabi on 5-6th Feb 2010 supporting the GP2 Asia series. If you can make it please come along and support Meezer Racing Team and Raed Raffii as they strive to win the V8 Supercars Middle-East Championship.

DSC_9419

Meezer Racing Team http://www.MeezerTeam.com
V8 Supercars ME http://www.SupercarsME.com

Supercars MEBahraini Raed Raffii, representing leading motorsport solutions specialists Meezer Group, showed his unlimited potential over the past weekend by taking a double podium, including a fantastic victory, in the second round of the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).

Raed, sponsored by Tamooz and Batelco, upstaged the nearly 20-car field of more experienced regional talent with third place in race one and then a dominant win in race two. The 20-year-old was in fine form from the very moment he stepped into the car for the first session of practices on Friday.

n qualifying held later the same day, Raed secured a spot on the front row alongside defending champion and compatriot Fahad Al Musalam. It was a promising start to a busy day, and was a fitting sign of things to come.

On to race one, where Raed steered clear of trouble at turn one after a rip-roaring start but lost a position to fellow-competitor Mohammed Al Owais of the UAE and dropped to third. Raed tried hard to pressure the Emirati into making a mistake over the race’s early stages and a fierce battle ensued, with both drivers touching a few times. Al Owais defended well so Raed shifted his focus to keeping his place on the podium as he was beginning to experience some car trouble. Raed eventually completed the race distance 9.852 seconds behind winner Al Musalam, and his strong showing helped him secure his first podium of the season and paved the way for even greater things to come in the round.

Raed RaffiiRaed commented: “I was thinking of avoiding any accidents at the start, so I thought I’d let Mohammed go and just follow him and hope he makes a mistake. “Once I touched him, I didn’t want to lose his race and mine, so I thought I would just maintain the car on a certain pace so I could finish in third. Mohammed was also very competitive. He did a good job defending, and he built a gap on me as I had an issue with the braking prior to the end.”

For race two, Raed was positioned in fourth for the rolling start behind pole-sitter Al Musalam, Al Owais and fellow-Bahraini Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. With all three ahead of him, Raed faced the tough task of overtaking some of the Middle East’s most renowned names in the sport, but the youngster rose to the challenge. Pushing with an unwavering determination and an SC09 car that was set up to perfection, Raed stormed down the main straight as the green lights came on and took the inside line to pass Al Musalam. By turn one, he was in front, and even to his surprise, it was a clear path the rest of the way. Raed’s pace was so impressive that midway through the race, he was six seconds clear of the trailing pack, and despite the heavy downpo! ur that blanketed BIC over the final few laps, Raed actually extended his advantage. He took the chequered flag while enjoying a 9.835-second gap ahead ofAl Musalam, who was followed to the finish line by Shaikh Hamad Ecstatic with his win, Raed was seen celebrating on top of his car’s hood and then later with team manager Fahad Hizam and Coach Malcolm Edeson. Raed then led his countrymen Al Musalam and Shaikh Hamad out onto the podium, and could not hide his ecstasy as he jumped up in joy, with fist pumped high in victory, to cap a brilliant weekend.

Raed said with a bright smile on his face: “I was totally surprised when I went through and took the lead at the start. “I was expecting Fahad to close the door on me, but he didn’t. From there, I just tried to do the quickest laps I could, as if it were qualifying. When the rain came down, I got a bit nervous, but next thing I know, I saw the chequered flag and I had won. “I’m competing against some really great drivers, and I’m so glad to be here in this championship. This is a very big win for me and the team, and I hope we can continue like this until the season’s end.” Raed’s results made up for a disappointing first round held in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit in October/November, where he was seventh in race one but did not finish race two.

An elated Fahad commented: “I’m very glad that everything we did between now and the first round has paid off today. I’m very glad that we won and that Raed did what he always wanted, and of course, what we as a team, wanted. It’s really great to be a part of this here today.”

The second round’s results helped Raed rocket to third place on the championship standings after a 17-point haul that brought his overall season tally to 19 points. He continues to trail leader Al Musalam, who extended his total to 34 points, while another Bahraini, Shaikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa, stayed in second place with 20 points.

Fahad added: “Raed has always been ready to race, but the car did not perform to its best in the previous three races. Today, the car was ready, so Raed won by a big gap, beating the defending champion.”

Coach Malcolm said: “To see him on top of the podium is extremely satisfying. I was worried prior to the last race that he had taken too much out of the tyres previously because we put new ones on for race one. But I told him he would actually be in better position from the start, and that proved to be the case. He was in first by turn one and he had no tyre problems from there. “I feel for Raed because he had such a terrible weekend at Yas Marina Circuit through no fault of his own, but because of car issues. He knew he was fast, but at this level you’ve got to prove it. That’s what counts. You can be fast, but if you don’t finish, there’s no points. “But following this spectacular second round, I think he can win the championship. That’s what we’re here for. In race one, we had many problems in the car, which we sorted. In race two, he was dominant. With reliability on our side and with a little bit of luck in this game, Raed can be the new champion.”

Raed will definitely get a chance to show his worth once more when the season heads to Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for round three on January 6 and 7.

Meezer Group
Supercars ME