Tommy and The Art of Villainy
Long time friend and fellow Jim Russell Racing Instructor Andy Pardoe, who is normally in charge of driver training for Gulf Sport Racing, was tied up on another event in New Zealand and Tommy was asked to replace him at the FG 1000 double-headers in Dubai and Yas Marina.
“I was very impressed with the whole outfit, led by father and son Barry and Martin Hope. They do a superb job in educating the new generation of UAE hopefuls on all aspects of the motorsport industry,” said Tommy. Of course it is mainly about the driving, with plenty of on-track activities but all FG 1000 drivers get a broad selection of useful motorsport knowledge from the GSR Team – from Media workshops teaching them how best to promote themselves, through to tailor-made fitness classes to help them focus on the key areas of fitness, which will make them perform at a higher level inside the cockpit.
“After each session we look at the data-logging and video files from each of the drivers, spending a great deal of time going through it all. Each driver is then told to focus on the key areas that will enhance their performance for the next session. Both the data logging and video cameras are great tools to use in driver training and having the right personnel to dissect the information means each driver is able to progress rapidly.” Two drivers were fighting it out for the title; 23 year old UAE born Saeed Bintouq and Welshman Tom Bale, only 16!
A mere 7 points separated the two drivers, with Saeed in the lead of the Championship before the final double-header at the stunning Yas Marina Circuit in Abu-Dhabi’s Yas Island.
Yas Marina is Saeed’s “home track”. He is a Race Instructor at the Yas Circuit Race School and was obviously feeling very confident about his chances of clinching the title, in front of his peers
However, he knew it would be extremely difficult to contain the pace of the rapid Welshman. Tom had won the last two races at the Dubai Autodrome with two poles and two fastest laps. The young lad was in great form and planning to have a repeat performance in Abu Dhabi. He didn’t quite get it all his way but did enough to clinch the title by the smallest of margins…In fact, they were tied at the top with equal points after Tom put the car on pole position in qualifying and won the two races. He missed out on the fastest lap in the second race though, which saw a great come-back from Saeed in the closing laps, nearly passing Tom for the lead at one point…before spinning out.
Tom Bale managed to secure the second win on the day and with that he secured the Formula Gulf Championship for 2014 by virtue of greater number of wins; 9 against 5 for Saeed.
Adnan Bahrami finished third in the Series, with a very consistent run throughout the season. His lap times in Abu Dhabi were very respectable. Adnan showed great commitment to his racing and it was particularly pleasing to see his progress in the final event of the season with a great lap time in race one.
Well done to all the drivers and Crew at Formula Gulf 1000 and thank you for the opportunitiy to contribute to your 2014 season!