Rashid Al Dhaheri’s summer of success on the Italian karting scene continued with impressive victory in the ROK Cup Italy at the at 7 Laghi circuit, near Castelletto di Branduzzo on Sunday, 30 July.
The Abu Dhabi schoolboy was one of 54 young drivers from several different countries contesting the Mini 60 class for 8 to 12 year olds.
From the outset Al Dhaheri, driving for the Babyrace Dream Team, featured among the pace setters in a toughly contest qualifying session in which he ended fourth fastest in a field where the top 40 drivers were separated by a mere second.
The eight year old Emirati was thrust into the top end of the field, with the best drivers of his age group battling for top honours in one of the most competitive categories in international junior karting.
He drove a strong Pre-Final to claim third place in a very close contest that almost required a photo finish to separate the top ten drivers.
As a result Al Dhaheri started the Final from fifth on the grid and it was clear that from the start that this would be one of the toughest races of his season.
The front of the field was action packed, as drivers jostled for position and overtaking happened on every corner. But Al Dhaheri kept his cool, keeping out of trouble, moving to the front when it counted to claim victory by a mere 0.070 of a second ahead of his closest rival when the chequered flag waved to end the ten lap Final. He also set the fastest lap of the race.
Babyrace Driver Academy’s team manager Sandro Lorandi said: “Every time he races Rashid takes a step forward. We are really surprised by his professionalism at such a young age and his pace in a such competitive category as the Mini 60. We are really convinced he is ready to achieve important success in his future.”
Al Dhaheri said: “I’am very happy and proud of my victory today. Both races were very tough because there were many drivers able to keep a very high pace. I was really focused on the last laps of the Finale to score this victory which means a lot for me. Thank you so much to all the Babyrace crew for supporting me all the time.”