24 September 2016
- Al Dhaheri wins first race of the 2016-2017 UAE karting season
- Shows great fighting spirit throughout the day at RAK Track
Abu Dhabi schoolboy Rashid Al Dhaheri powered to victory in Round One of the X30 Challenge UAE at RAK Track and set the tone for the season ahead with a ‘never give up’ display against a strong line-up of drivers in the Cadet Class.
On Friday, the eight year old Emirati managed to qualify second, constantly running with the pace setters in the very competitive class featuring some of the MENA region’s top young karters in the age group 8 to 12 years of age.
In Heat 1 he dropped down to fifth before recovering to finish third just behind the leaders. In the Pre-Final, again he found himself down in fifth before fighting his way back to second place.
In the Final, held in hot and very humid conditions, it was the same story as again Al Dhaheri dropped down the order to fifth as he took avoiding action off the line.
But the setback only served to inspire him, upon which he delivered an impressive display as he chased down the pack, making his way through the field in a decisive manner, picking up positions with every lap.
Late in the race he emerged in second place with the leader 2.6 seconds ahead. Al Dhaheri dug deep, reeled him in and overtook to claim a well deserved victory in the first X30 Challenge UAE karting race of the 2016-2017 UAE season. Al Dhaheri also made fastest lap time ever recorded in the cadet on this track configuration.
He was cheered by a large contingent of spectators and his gutsy drive hailed by all.
Rashid said afterwards, “The gap was big but I always believe I could catch P1. Thanks to good set up and great focus I managed to come back and I knew I have to pass him directly in order then p2 battle with p3 and I could bring home this victory. I am really happy. A victory on home soil tastes perfect!”
Fausto Ippoliti, Team Manager of Ippoliti Kart and ex Formula 3 Italian Champion commented: “That was a great performance by Rashid. He made us proud with his fighting spirit, good speed and technique.”
“He practices regularly, with enthusiasm, in the UAE and in Italy, this victory shows that hard work pays off. It is great to work with such a talent and start the season with a victory;” added Ippoliti.
Eight year old Al Dhaheri is combining his UAE campaign with an intensive testing and racing programme in Italy with the formidable BabyRace team. He will travel this week to Italy to participate in the ultra-competitive WSK Final at Adria International Raceway.
WSK is the world’s most challenging karting series where the creme de la creme of international young drivers are battling in the world’s toughest 8-12 year old category and where Rashid will be one of the youngest racers.