With the European motor racing season in full swing, the UAE’s Rashid Al Dhaheri was back behind the wheel on another karting campaign in the ultra-competitive “The Italian Kart Championship”.
The Abu Dhabi schoolboy was in action, flying Tony Kart colours, at the Campionato Italiano in Siena, competing in the Mini category with 80 other young drivers from 23 nations in the field.
Rashid, who completed four days of testing at the venue a week earlier, was well prepared for the race weekend and signalled his intent by qualifying fastest of all the 80 drivers in the Mini class.
The Emirati timed his pole position to perfection by making full use of the one lap window for tyre changes to drivers. His best lap came when he was six-thousandths of a second quicker on the second-placed driver, while just one second separated the top 71 karters.
In the four heats, Al Dhaheri was constantly under attack and did well to spend the afternoon at the sharp end of the field. He was ranked sixth.
In race one, Al Dhaheri was swamped in the first Final, dropping down the order but fighting back to finish seventh, second-best rookie in the field.
He went even better in Race Two. While he enjoyed an entertaining battle among the leaders, he claimed sixth position to again clinch second place in the rookie category.
Looking back at his displays, Al Dhaheri was pleased with how he performed. “I enjoyed this weekend, lots of overtaking, fast lap times! Hard work pays off, we have been working hard together with the whole team and I am glad we managed to find the right setup. Now I look forward to the remaining part of the season and hope to achieve greater results.” he added.
His coach Fausto Ippoliti, an ex-Formula 2 champion, was impressed with how Al Dhaheri fared in the first round in a competitive competition.
“The Italiano Campionato in the Mini category was very crowded this weekend having more than 80 quality drivers from around the world.” Rashid’s Coach, stated
“We are very glad to have Rashid in the team. We worked hard together since the beginning of the season and thanks to numerous testing we believe that we finally found a good setup for his style.
“We are optimistic that there is still room for improvement that is why we look forward to the remaining part of the season.”
“Rashid confirmed his talent, securing a top spot in qualifying, and drove solidly heats, showing everybody that he was one of the fastest kids in his category throughout the weekend.”