Jordan/Spain: Nine-year-old Jordanian driver Hamzah Al Fayez made his debut in European races by competing in the Spanish Valencia Winter Cup that was held at Lucas Guarraro International Kartdrome Circuit on February 7-10.The goal from competing in European races is to gain more experience and prepare for the upcoming Euro Series that will be held in Belgium, Italy, Germany & France.
Hamzah Al Fayez was racing against 34 drivers in the mini category, where all drivers have to use the same Engine (IAME 60cc, 10hp) and same tyres. However, the use of chassis was open, and Hamzah was using a Tony Kart prepared by UK based Strawberry Racing Team.The first day of the race programme was six practice sessions, which Hamzah used to learn the circuit and gradually build up his speed. The second day was the official practice sessions, followed by the qualifying where Hamzah came in 20th , placing himself on the 10th row for the start of each of the racing heats.On the following day, Hamzah experienced the first 34 drivers grid and experienced a very tough competition finishing the first two heats in 18thand the third one in 20th overall.
In the last day of the race weekend, Hamzah finished the prefinal race in 12th place and the final race in 19th overall.
Jordanian ex-karting champion, Hamza Dirani, was looking after Hamzah Al Fayez and was satisfied with the performance over the weekend. “It’s a completely different experience for Al Fayez and it is his first time on the circuit and being in the middle of 34 highly experienced drivers was a great learning experience for him.”
The races Hamzah has done in the past were more forgiving compared to the Winter Cup since the grid is smaller and the level of drivers varies. Whereas in the European series it’s a much bigger grid and the level is very high and close, one mistake could easily cost the driver 3-4 positions.
“This is my first time to race in Europe, it was very different from what I am used to. There is much more grip because of the rubber that all the karts put into the tarmac during the weekend and the level of competition is really high. The team is very professional and I learnt a lot from running with them. I am very happy with the performance over the weekend. The aim was to gain experience and develop my skills.” Hamzah Al Fayez says.