10 May 2016
- Impressive weekend of racing for Rashid where he topped the rookie podium in Italy
- Abu Dhabi youngster gives gutsy performance in among older kids
Rashid Al Dhaheri’s karting campaign in Italy got into top gear on Sunday when he powered to victory in the Rookie Category of the 2016 Parolin Championkart series, finishing an impressive P3 overall as well as setting fastest time lap at the aptly named Happy Valley Kartdromo in Cervia, Italy.
The Abu Dhabi schoolboy had a busy weekend in Italy completing approximately 200km of testing in the build-up to race day. This was excellent preparation on what is a very challenging and technical track. Once again the 8 year-old Emirati was the youngest on the grid and only driver from outside Europe.
Al Dhaheri got off to a good start on race day claiming P4 in qualifying. From the outset he showed good pace and featured at the top end of the timing screens throughout the session, finishing a mere 0.08 of second behind P2.
In the Pre-Final, Al Dhaheri started strongly and was among the leaders from the outset where he remained throughout the race. Half a dozen drivers battled it out at the front, with Al Dhaheri doing enough to hold on to P3 despite relentless pressure.
In an exciting final, the young Emirati driver was once again in the thick of things. At one point he edged into P2 overall, but when the chequered flag was waved he was in a third place, with the fastest lap of the race to his credit. The result was enough for him to take a well-deserved win in the Rookie Category.
Team manager and ex Formula 3 Champion Fausto Ippoliti said: “We had an excellent weekend, Rashid continues to impress. Despite being the youngest driver in the field, he is calm under pressure, drives intelligently and has incredible focus for a boy of his age. The biggest difference between Rashid and most kids of his age is his eagerness to listen, learn and develop himself as a race driver. He is even helping the team by learning how to do some basic mechanic work on his own kart.”
“We leave Happy Valley Kartdromo very happy! Victory in the Rookie class and third place overall along with the fastest lap of the race is a good haul. His potential and talent are obvious and if he continues like this, his season is looking very promising,” added Ippoliti.
Al Dhaheri and his team will return to action at Pista Rioveggio near Bologna, in Italy, for Round 4 of the 2016 Parolin Championkart series on 22 May.