It was a wet and windy end to the race season for Stargate Dubai driver Fabienne Lanz as she took part in the final round of the Nivea for Men 24hrs Endurance Challenge at Dubai Kartdrome. This was the first 24hr race event Fabienne had taken part in and it was her chance to show the people of Dubai her karting talent, a sport she has enjoyed with great success since she was eight years old.
Fresh from winning the South African Engen Nationals only a month earlier, Fabienne wasted no time in showing her skill and determination to the Dubai crowds. The rain started to fall just as she took her seat for qualifying, with only one chance to set a good time, she was a little reserved as she had never raced on the Dubai track before or raced a kart of this type.
‘’This kart is totally different to what I race normally, my full race kart is a high performance machine where I can finely tune it to my own requirements, these are leisure karts and we cannot change any settings, we have to draw our karts by lottery so everyone has the same machine. This event is a fantastic team building opportunity and I am very excited to be part of this all male group in my first 24hrs race” said Fabienne
The Tracktalk Speedsters team are a highly experienced group who have outperformed in previous years in the 24hrs races, they all helped to share their expertise with Fabienne.
Ayman Abdulrahman, team manager for the Speedsters commented, “We have never had a girl in our team before and we didnt know what to expect bringin in a totally new driver, but Fabienne proved a real asset to the team and really got on well with all the guys, we would welcome her back here to race with us anytime”.
The qualifying session had just started as the unexpected rain came down with force. Against the odds, Fabienne managed to qualify very well which managed to put the team on pole position for the race, the first time a female driver has ever been placed on pole position in Dubai Kartdrome.
“I am very happy to give our team a pole position, considering I have only just arrived in this city, I have never raced on the track before so im very pleased with the times’’, commented an elated Fabienne.
The race started off in extreme conditions, the intermittent downpours caused the track to become flooded in several parts during her first one hour stint. The conditions made it difficult to gauge where the water was laying so Fabienne took it quite easy and started to pace herself for the long haul.
As the hours ticked by Fabienne took the seat for her second session in the kart just as darkness fell upon the floodlight track, the rain had stopped and the track had become dry again, by three laps into her session it unfortunately poured with rain again.
During the night the team performed well with no incidents and kept good average lap times in the rain, the track never really dried out, the cold and windy conditions forced teams to spend extra energy, drivers were trying to catch a few hours sleep wherever they could and Fabienne managed to retire for a few hours rest.
By dawn break, and after three full suit changes, Fabienne took her turn in the seat again, just as the daylight pushed through the clouds, the sun was teasing everyone with its appearance which eventually dried out the track, it was a last chance to make up some time and try to gain places for the team.
“I was refreshed in my mind but my body felt a bit battered from the kart seat, however I was surprised that this last session when I did my fastest lap, with a time of 1:11.5 seconds’’, commented Fabienne.
The Tracktalk Speedsters clinched a third place in the corporate group class and a sixth place overall, with 1004 laps completed, 14 laps behind the winners, Nivea for Men Professional with a fastest lap of 1:11.9 and 1018 laps completed.
Fabienne was pleasantly surprised to accept her trophy for the fastest lap of the race, awarded to her by the Dubai Autodrome Management team for her outstanding performance.
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