Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi schoolboy Rashid Al Daheri survived a challenging weekend to secure second place in the 2015 Parolin Academy Championship at Adria Raceway in Italy. In so doing, he became the first Emirati karter to accomplish such a feat outside of the UAE.

“I never gave up until the chequered flag and I am very happy to be on the podium,” said Al Dhaheri, the Parolin Academy Championship rookie of the year.

Fausto Ippoliti, team manager, added: “I am very satisfied with Rashid’s race weekend. He was not the fastest on track, but he raced with his head using the slipstream to stay with the leaders in all the races.

“His last move in the last corner of the last race was great. I am glad he got rewarded with a podium for all the work and testing he has been going through. It was well deserved,”

The seven-year-old starlet was always on the backfoot in the Parolin run series as he had to miss out on the opening round in March because he was not within the seven to 10-year-old age group.

Nevertheless, once he turned seven in April he became eligible and from the start was among the pacesetters.

In last weekend’s warm-up race, he signalled his intent with the second-best time, but that was followed by a difficult qualifying session, in which he claimed fourth spot on the grid. In the pre-final, Al Daheri dropped down to sixth early on but by the end was up to the leading group and he took fourth place.

The scene was set for an exciting final race, in which he made a good start and was battling at the front among the leading quartet.

The four leaders swapped positions on every lap, and at one point Al Daheri dropped down to fourth.

A big effort on the final corner of the final lap saw him snatch third and with it the runner-up spot in the Parolin Academy Championship.

Al Daheri will return to the Adria Raceway this weekend to compete in the International Finals of the Parolin Academy Championship featuring the top drivers from around the world.