Abu Dhabi: Rashid Al Dhaheri won the final round of the IAME Rookie Championship on the UAE’s RAK Track last weekend. The eight-year-old Emirati champion was making his debut in the IAME series and on homeland after returning from 10 days of intensive training in Italy, which culminated in a challenging race weekend in Round 1 of the Italian Championship at Castelletto in southern Milan.
In Ras Al Khaimah, Rashid encountered different conditions with a much smaller, albeit quality field to contend with, compared to Italy, where he was up against 70 top young drivers in his age category coming from different parts of Europe and he was the only driver in his category from the Middle East.
In RAK, he also had to adapt to hotter conditions and the day to night transition on race day. Rashid was at top end of the field throughout the heats, except during the Prefinal where he was sidelined due to a technical issue with his kart. In the final however, under the floodlights, Rashid shrugged off his earlier troubles and delivered an exceptionally polished and mature performance earning him the top spot on the podium.
The victory in RAK caps off a season of select races in the UAE, ahead of a busy summer of international kart racing awaiting him in Europe in the coming months. Speaking after the final race at RAK Track, team manager and ex-Formula 3 Champion Fausto Ippolitti said: “Rashid impressed me with the way he adapted to the dramatically changing conditions on the RAK track less than a week after he raced in Italy. He adapts well to differing conditions which is remarkable for his age. It is also very good that he competes well on home soil.”
Rashid will catch up with school before departing next week to Cervia, Italy for round 2 of the Italian Championkart series taking place on May 6-8 in central Italy.