By Sports Reporter/Doha
Ahmad Kholy and Khalid al-Kuwari won all three rounds to lead Group A and B respectively at the Qatar Online Racing Championship, organised by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF). In Group C, Hamad al-Sulati held a slender four-point advantage over closest rival Salma al-Khater after winning two of the three rounds.
The competition, open for Qatar residents only, is spread across three weeks, with races being held on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of every week. The official game console for participation is Gran Turismo Sport on Playstation 4. The competitors are divided randomly into three groups (A, B & C), with the maximum number of participants in each group being 15.
After the first week of competition, Kholy and al-Kuwari hold all the aces, having dominated their groups so far. But with two more weeks of action – six rounds in total – remaining, the other competitors will look to close the gap on the leaders. Yesterday’s virtual race, held over 15 laps, was set at Brands Hatch (British circuit) and was quiet challenging since there was not much room for error.
QMMF CEO Amro al-Hamad, who is the brain behind the project, said: “The run off areas are very limited and the reason behind that was we wanted to distinguish between drivers who can adapt to change in conditions and those who can’t. We have also activated the mechanical damage option to the race. Competitors will sustain mechanical damages to their cars in case of contact with other competitors or the barriers,” al-Hamad said.
For Week 2, the car of choice will change and will be announced today, added al-Hamad. Races are held in the following format: 10 Minutes for practice, 15 minutes for qualifying and 25 minutes of racing. Points will be awarded only for the race results. No points for free practice or qualifying.
At the end of three weeks of racing, the top 15 competitors will be chosen and will take part in another, final week of racing. The top five from those races will receive cash awards. The winner will walk away with QR15,000 in prize money, while the runner-up and third-place winner get QR13,000 and QR10,000 respectively. The fourth-placed driver gets QR6,000 while QR5,000 will be awarded for the fifth-place finisher.
Race 3 results
GROUP A: 1. Ahmad Kholy; 2. Mansour Dbeissy; 3. Rashid al-Lebdah; 4. Khalid al-Abdullah; 5. Saoud al-Thani.
GROUP B: 1. Khalid al-Kuwari; 2. Abdullah Khelaifi; 3. Mohamed Emadadhi; 4. Ibrahim Al Muntafeky; 5. Basil Sholy.
GROUP C: 1. Hamad al-Sulaiti; 2. Abdulla Shaikhan; 3. Salman al-Khater; 4. Khalid Saadon; 5. Khalid Abdeen
Points after three rounds
GROUP A: 1. Ahmad Kholy 120, Rashid al-Lebdah 100, Saud al-Thani 97
GROUP B: 1. Khalid al-Kuwari 120, 2. Abdulla Khelaifi 108, 3. Basil Sholy 92
GROUP C: 1. Hamad al-Sulaiti 116;
2. Salman al-Khater 112; 3. Abdulla Shaikhan 97
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