Abu Dhabi: Emirati young karting ace Rashid Al Dhaheri registered a convincing victory during the final of the Mini class at Adria Karting Raceway.
The race culminated with Rashid surging ahead of the competition to put a huge three-second gap between himself and the pack of drivers chasing him.
This decisive victory placed him first out of 86 drivers from 30 countries with Parolin Racing Kart.
Winning three out of five races in the heats, the 10-year-old’s performance over the course of the weekend was initially strong, however he faced setbacks with his battery which needed attention from a Marshall, which meant that Rashid didn’t warm up properly.
Furthermore, the pre-final saw further challenges with engine issues, which concluded with a fourth-row start at the final, creating a significant challenge.
Cold, rainy and windy weather proceeded the entire weekend including during the final, as the stage was set with adverse weather conditions. As the competition got underway, despite starting in the difficult outside P8 position, a determined Rashid gained such phenomenal speed that he overtook seven drivers over ten laps. With the young driver powering ahead to victory as the checkered flag waved, Rashid made a Kung-Fu hand sign to greet his Father, who is working in Beijing.
“I’m so happy to have had such a fantastic race and to lead the Championship, which sees the season making such an excellent start with Parolin Racing Kart — I am truly fortunate to have the support of such a great team. I’d also like to thank my Father for providing such wonderful support to pursue my passion in racing — I would like to dedicate this victory to him, especially with the Chinese New Year this week,” said a jubilant Rashid.
Coach and ex-Formula 2 Champion, Italian Fausto Ippoliti said: “Rashid’s tenacity and skills really shone through over the course of three days. It is truly a mark of this young talent that despite such challenges in qualifying and pre-final starting in a challenging position further back in the grid, he demonstrated such fantastic abilities. Not only did he overtake so many capable young drivers from the highest level of karting all around the world, but put such a significant gap between himself and those chasing him. This is a marvellous result which augers well for the season.”