28 October 2014
Rashid Al Dhaheri ends his 2014 Italian karting season in style
- A win and a second place in International Grand Finals in Italy for Abu Dhabi schoolboy
- UAE’s Little Alonso makes his mark on Italian karting scene
Rashid Al Dhaheri completed his 2014 season of karting in Italy with a successful weekend of competition during the the Academy Champion Kart Series International Grand Finals at Pista Azzura di Jesolo near Venice.
The six year old Abu Dhabi based schoolboy, rose to the challenges of the tight and technical track not far from the Adriatic coast, He was instantly on the pace from the moment practice began on Friday, and during the next two days set himself as the one to beat in the Baby Pre-Agonistica category for 6 to 8 year old drivers.
On the day of the Finals (Sunday) Al Dhaheri carried the UAE flag, as over 100 drivers from around the world took part in the official parade at the Pista Azzura. Since its opening in 1962 the venue has played host to some of the sport’s legends during their karting years on the journey to Formula 1, including the likes Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Riccardo Patrese, Michael Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella, Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton to name a few.
On race day, grid order was decided randomly with the UAE’s Little Alonso starting race one from the back of the grid in 17th. However this this did not deter him, but rather fired the youngster up, as he powered through the field. By mid-distance he was in second and chasing down the leader Christian Bertuca who had managed to edge out a useful lead, but in the end despite closing in at about a second a lap Al Dhaheri to settle for the runner-up spot by less than quarter of a second.
In Race 2, Al Dhaheri started from pole and from the moment the field was unleashed he seized the lead where he stayed until the end to claim a well controlled victory, ahead of his Ippoliti Racing teammate Valerio Rinicella who chased hard in second place.
Speaking at the end of three intense days, team manager Fausto Ippoliti said, “In his category Rashid was the boy to beat all weekend long. He improved with every session and most importantly he listened to his coach and mechanics. Delivering what he had to do and this is a great way for him and the team to end the season in Italy. He definitely made a name for himself here in junior karting and for us it is a pleasure to be part of his karting programme.”
Al Dhaheri returns to Abu Dhabi and is set to have a break before partaking in select UAE championship races, while a programme of kart racing is planned for the 2015 season.