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UAE karting scene won over by Al Dhaheri

Six-year-old budding star wows observers with seven consecutive wins

Gulf News

Dubai: The 2013-2014 UAE Rotax Max Challenge season has finished and one of the highlights of the final day was Rashid Al Dhaheri’s quadruple of wins in the Bambino Class at Al Ain Raceway to end his remarkable campaign on a high.

The Emirati youngster, who turned six on April 8, was comfortably quicker than any of his rivals and his rookie season has been one of the most impressive in memory on the local karting scene. He powered to 11 victories out of 21 starts, of which the last seven he has won consecutively and by margins often of more than a second.

Apart from his obvious skill and determination, Al Dhaheri is also well known for his signature victory salute.

“Rashid’s performance was impeccable — he outpaced everyone and stayed consistently focused,” his coach Paul Chatenay said. “The kid is a born champion.”

Also on hand at Al Ain for the season finale was David Terrien, a multiple world champion, who said: “Rashid is a very talented driver showing great motivation and dedication, but is also mature for a six-year-old kid. He doesn’t really have much competition in the Bambino Class as he is most of the time ahead of the older kids competing with him.”

Carlo Passeri, who does the spanner work on Al Dhahaeri’s kart and is a veteran of the European karting scene, added: “I thought that — after 25 years in the karting business — nothing could surprise me anymore. But Rashid is able to do so.

“In this first year of working as his mechanic he has shown me that, with intelligence, passion and love for motorsport, you can achieve exceptional results.”

Al Dhaheri missed out on the championship title in his rookie year by a mere two points, but nevertheless has made a big impact on the UAE karting scene. His campaign in summer shifts to Europe, where he will take on the best of his age group and continue his path up the motorsport ladder.

Al Dhaheri’s dream is to become a Formula 1 driver, like his hero Fernando Alonso, and represent the UAE at the highest level.

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