Macau: Emirati Karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri capped off a successful year by powering ahead to an impressive tournament victory at the 2018 Macau International Kart Grand Prix. In the face of challenging adverse weather conditions at the Kartrodomo de Colaone in Macau, Al Dhaheri advanced from 11th on the grid to a top-place podium finish, carrying out the fastest lap of 1:05.699 in the process.
The qualifying heats were comparatively slow for Al Dhaheri, as his kart’s engine performed well below par. In Qualifying Heat 1 his engine issues were compounded by his kart being hit from the side, which took Al Dhaheri off the track and culminated in his finishing in position 32. Still contending with engine issues, he managed to make the best of Qualifying 2 and Qualifying 3, by finishing fifth and fourth respectively. Putting Al Dhaheri 11th on the gird, this created a challenging position for the youngster to start from.
On the final day, as the race got under way, Al Dhaheri gradually advanced up the order in the track. In the face of wet and cold weather in Macau, Al Dhaheri, who was flying Tony Kart colours, drew on his racing skills to cruise forward to victory. Wet weather conditions often require a greater reliance on skill than engine ability, and Al Dhaheri kept up a strong speed and successfully kept a firm grip on the track, avoiding any slides.
Employing his smooth racing style, Al Dhaheri rapidly overtook drivers one-by-one, and over the course of nine laps was able to advance past all those ahead in the field. Powering into the lead as the fastest on the track, the young driver crossed the finish line with a 2.775 second gap ahead of his nearest contender.
“Although it’s the first time I visited this track, it was one of my favourite to race on,” said Al Dhaheri. “I found it so exciting to start from so far back to pass so many competitors and finish first. I have practised wet weather tracks a great deal and it was so rewarding to see this hard work pay off as I managed to pick up a real speed and get a lot out of the kart. I’ve had the best year of racing and this has been a great way to complete a wonderful 2018.”