Young Emirati karting star shines bright in first X30 Junior season
Abu Dhabi - Sienna – 15th September 2020: Young Emirati karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri continued his successful first-ever season stepping up to the X30 Junior category, as he achieved first and second place respectively in Campionato Italiano Karting – with a big final and a smaller final following. This is in the face of Rashid being the youngest in the 12-14 category, with more seasoned drivers.
An excellent racing weekend was not without challenges. Finishing first in the qualifiers, with a tight margin against fierce competition, Rashid was placed in an excellent position for the first, big final race of the weekend, which was 20 laps.
Rashid powered ahead straight from the start, creating a gap immediately between himself and the competition. Holding firm for the extensive 20 laps, a small issue with his carburettor meant that he was losing fractions of a second each lap, creating a drag on his kart. Rashid held firm as the race ensued, with his competition gaining. Towards the last two laps, Rashid slowly held firm and closed the door.
Upon the last lap – an overtake. Despite the challenges to his kart, Rashid pushed his kart with determination. A photo-finish saw Rashid overtake with 0.3 of a second, sending Rashid to the top of the podium.
The weekend was a two-for-one, with the second final at 16 laps. The top eight of the first final were placed as reverse grid which meant Rashid started P8 on the outside line. Despite the big task to overcome, the young driver shone once more, overtaking lap upon lap, finishing in second and achieving fastest on the track.
Rashid said “This was a fantastic race to become involved with and I was glad to have held out for a first position and had a great second race as well. The competition is really challenging stepping up to the Junior category, so I am proud to have made an impact already. I hope to build on these performances for the rest of the season.”
Coach and ex-Formula 2 champion Fausto Ippoliti said: “The move up to Junior category is a big step up in the karting world and Rashid’s consistency in achieving victories so early on should not be underestimated. The field is tough, however we are seeing that Rashid’s innate skills, preparation in practice and absolute determination even under challenges, is a great combination to keep him competitive at the highest level. I am really happy to see him developing his talent.”
The Circuit of Siena 1,037 metres, with a width of 10 meters and a new 12,000 m2 paddock. Among many excellent debuts, the Siena Circuit has held renowned racing personalities as a ‘baptism’, such as the son of the two-time F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen. The track has a National ‘A’ type approval and a ‘C’ type international approval.
About Rashid Al Dhaheri
Rashid Al Dhaheri’s passion for motorsports started from a very young age, growing up just 10 minutes away from Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit, which ignited his passion. After some practice sessions he attended a karting summer camp in Italy organised by the Italian Karting & Motorsport Federation (ACI CSAI). Here he immediately demonstrated an aptitude for racing and considerable natural talent.
Rashid has rapidly developed into a young karting racing star who continuously achieves a string of firsts for the Arab world. In March 2019, the young Emirati became the first person from both the Middle East and Asia to became champion of the WSK Super Master Series. He won the championship with a big margin and became the first Mini driver to win three out of four races in the last seven years. Rashid added to this the prestigious WSK Euro Series Championship and a win at the world’s greatest karting race in Macao.
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