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Torrente made no mistake at the restart and took off

and opened up an early lead, but for the majority of

the race was unable to shake off the challenge of a very

persistent Stromoy who would not let him get away,

but the Abu Dhabi driver was faultless, absorbed the

pressure from behind and maintained his relentless

pace to complete the 44 laps and win by 2.17s to

record his seventh-career victory and leapfrog his two

teammates to hit the front in title race. “Marit did a

wonderful job. She pushed so hard and I knew she

would,” said Torrente. “I made two great starts and

it was all about managing the race. For me it’s about

winning the championship not just races. The goal is

to be in this position after Sharjah. Our home race is

next so we hope we can keep it going.”

Stromoy’s drive to second sandwiched between the

Abu Dhabi pair for the full race distance was immense

and received high praise from both her rivals and was

by far her best outing this year, keeping Torrente in

her sights and fending off a relentless challenge from

Stark. “I tried and pushed as hard as I could till the

bitter end but it was a great race for me,” Stromoy said.

“I had a bad start and was a bit lucky with the yellow

flag but I could see Shaun was controlling things at the

front and I also had to keep my eye on Erik.”

Despite all his efforts and a near coming together with

Stromoy, Stark was unable to get passed. “I was a little

unlucky with the yellow because for once I made a

really good start,” Stark said. “After the restart I got up

beside her but she held on and after that I pushed as

hard as I could but it was not enough. The podium is

great but the points’ tally after Sharjah is what matters

and we have two races to go.”

Behind the front three it was a race of attrition with

eight of the 18 starters failing to go the distance;

Benavente out on lap 1 after the coming together with

Chiappe, his teammate Grant Trask going out on lap

13, Al Qemzi seeing his championship lead disappear

with his retirement on lap 5. Bartek Marszalek was

running a strong race in eighth until engine issues

ended his afternoon on lap 23, Cedric Deguisne’s race

ending on lap 27.

Andersson was looking strong in fourth before his exit

with Morin taking over the slot and running a solitary

race to the chequered flag and some consolation

for the CTIC China Team, with Francesco Cantando

picking up his best result of the year bringing his Blaze

home in fifth.


n° 5 DECEMBER | 2018