XSPORT supported driver Haytham Sultan claims third place in Formula Gulf Championship

Dubai, April 15th 2012: UAQ racing driver Haytham Sultan Al Ali is triumphant in his first season of the inaugural UAE single-seater series taking third overall in the Championship. The Champion title went to experienced Lebanese driver Joe Ghanem with Dubai’s Mohamed Al Mutawaa in second.

It was a fantastic flourish finish for the NBQ sponsored Emirati racing driver right at the end of the day where he managed to steer his way past Dubai based Spanish driver Nicolas Canal to take his hard fought podium position.

The third step on the podium didn’t come easy for the rookie having battled hard in race one only to finish in a disappointing fifth place. However patience paid off and it was in the very last race during the last few laps Haytham dug deep to take the final trophy of the day, and secured his third place overall in the Formula Gulf Championship.

In this, his first season of circuit racing, Haytham is a relative newcomer to car racing having graduated straight from karting. He has gained an enormous amount of experience and race pace during every race and is full of praise for the new single-seater driver development programme set up by GulfSport Racing, a Dubai based company with over 30yrs of regional motorsport expertise under their belts.

“When I first heard about this Championship my first reaction was, ‘Yes have to do this’, and my second thought was, ‘how can I fund this’, and so I set about creating a marketing campaign with my team at XSport and within the year we had secured most of the race budget, it was a dream come true for me to start racing in this Championship, now I need to build on what I have learned and improve even further,” said Haytham.

Haytham and his team recently secured sponsorship backing from NBQ bank and a personal endorsement from His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, ruler of Umm Al Quwain, who had personally signed Haytham’s racing car for good luck.

“My goal this first season was to learn all about the car technically and try to develop my race craft as quickly as possible to be competitive, competing with International drivers in the series has been really helpful, as I can gauge where I need to be and it makes me feel confident I can also do well Internationally in the future,” continued Haytham.

With consistent improvements and a considerate racing style, with no accidents or penalties, Haytham has improved his performance in every race weekend working closely with series driver coach Andy Pardoe to finely tune his race craft.

“We are all very proud of Haytham for showing such a mature approach to his racing, not everything can be learned or taught in one day and he has been soaking up all the advice he can get, it’s very encouraging to see the tried and tested methods of this training package pay off for all the drivers in the series,” commented Lex Akehurst of XSport Motorsport Management.

“A great deal of effort went into developing what has clearly become a strategically important feeder series for kart racers and young drivers whose ambition is to break into International motor racing. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to its success. We made a modest start and were rewarded with some extremely exciting and high quality racing,” Commented GulfSport’s Director of Racing, Barry Hope.

“I would like to thank the entire team of people who have helped me, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, ruler of Umm Al Quwain, NBQ Bank, XSport Motorsport, Gulf Sport Racing and all my friends and family, without whom none of this would be possible, I look forward now to some racing in Europe and to winning next years Formula Gulf Championship,” Haytham concluded.