Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wed,11th Dec, 2013:- Proud Saudi driver Mohammed Jawa experienced the highs and lows of endurance, with Dragon Racing in the McLaren 12C GT3 car this weekend. With his teammates Khaled Al Mudhaf from Kuwait and resident pro driver Jordon Grogor, this was the first representation of a Saudi national in this prestigious endurance race at Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit. Mohammed, a newcomer to endurance racing, had the full support of expert driver coach Michael Vergers who was on hand for the drivers with invaluable advice throughout the weekend. Mohammed remains philosophical about the race weekend that saw the eventual retirement of the car only 2 hours into the race.
The team started the weekend with free practice and qualifying on Thursday where each driver had a mandatory twenty minute period in which to qualify to be eligible to start the race. During the second qualifying session, the car experienced an electrical fault while out on track which had to be repaired quickly and with only ten minutes to spare Mohammed managed to get out on track and complete some mandatory qualifying laps.
“Well what can I say about my first endurance race – “It was short” – joked Mohammed post race.
“During qualifying I was on edge hoping that the team could fix the fault and allow me to qualify, and they did an amazing job, I was so relieved to get into the car. It felt great, the best feeling ever, I loved the car. I didn’t get a lot of time to warm the tyres but I tried to get the best time I could for the team in the short space of time. Our grid position is determined by the average of all three drivers best time, so we managed to qualify in 14th,” said Mohammed.
“After watching Jordon Grogor take the start of the race and set some fast lap times, we were in seventh place after an hour of running, which felt great as we were competitive right from the start. After about two hours of running, It was my turn in the car after Khaled made his pit stop. After fuel stop and tyres change, I set off but I was forced to stop after half a lap, the car lost all power and I had to park it on the side of the track. Later when the car was inspected the pit crew found it was a drivetrain failure. Of course I’m disappointed for the entire team, but we should remain positive because we still have achieved a lot this weekend. And as a team we must share the triumphs and share the disappointments and support each other, we are a team,” said Mohammed.
“Really this has tested us and actually made us stronger, although we did not triumph we have bonded and progressed more this weekend as a team and we learned a lot about the car and the whole aspect of endurance racing, we wanted to use this race as a preparation for the 24hr of Dubai in a months time” commented Mohammed after the race.
“Im really impressed with Mohammed and Khaled this weekend. In Mohammed’s debut in this type of endurance race he has impressed everyone with his dedication and focus. This is not an easy sport and it tests everyone, the car, the team and the drivers, everything has to come together with a little luck for a successful outcome. I’m very proud of him and the whole team for giving it their all right to the very end, they never gave up, that’s what teamwork is about,” commented Michael Vergers.
“Now I will focus even more on my fitness and stamina, we have an intense fitness schedule planned. It was a testing time in the car, very hot and physical, and it could be easy to lose focus, so I will train hard and come back in January, stronger, fitter and more prepared,” said Mohammed.
Mohammed is a passionate Saudi racing driver who has crafted his sport over several years at a GCC level, now with his goal firmly set on improving his International GT experience, this was his debut in Endurance racing and a prelude to the Dubai 24hr race in January at Dubai Autodrome.
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