Young Rashid Al Dhaheri wins opening race of UAE karting season

Eight-year-old came from behind to win Cadet class

UAE’s most exciting young karting star, Rashid Al Dhaheri got his season off to a flying start as he powered to victory in Round One of the X30 Challenge UAE at RAK Track last weekend with a determined display against a strong line-up of drivers in the Cadet Class.

The eight-year-old Emirati managed to qualify in second position, remaining amongst pace setters throughout qualification in the very competitive class that features some of the MENA region’s top young karters in the 8 to 12 age group.

In Heat 1, Rashid dropped down to fifth at one stage before recovering to finish third.

In the Pre-Final, again he found himself down in fifth before fighting his way back to finish in second place.

In a hot and humid Final, it was a similar story again as Al Dhaheri dropped down the order to fifth after going off his racing line to avoid a collision.

Undeterred by this setback he fought back to chase down the pack, making his way through the field picking up positions with every lap.

Late in the race he stormed to second with the leader a mere 2.6 seconds ahead.

In a thrilling final lap, Al Dhaheri held his nerve and skilfully overtook the leader to notch a well-earned victory in the first X30 Challenge UAE karting race of the 2016-2017 UAE season.

On his way to victory Al Dhaheri also notched up the fastest lap time ever recorded in the cadet class on this track configuration.

Young Rashid said afterwards: “The gap was big but I knew I could catch P1. The set up on the kart was really good I managed to come back. I am really happy to win my home country. ”

Fausto Ippoliti, Team Manager of Ippoliti Kart and ex Formula 3 Italian Champion commented: “Rashid put in a really impressive performance. He made us proud with his fighting spirit, excellent pace and technique. Rashid is very committed; he practices regularly and with enthusiasm in the UAE and in Italy. This victory shows that all his hard work is starting to pay off. It is great to work with such a talent and a great start to the 2016-17 season.”

Rashid is combining his UAE campaign with an intensive testing and racing programme in Italy with the formidable ‘BabyRace’ team.