Rashid Al Dhaheri was on the podium in Italy
Rashid Al Dhaheri was on the podium in Italy Image Credit: Supplied

Young Emirati Rashid Al Dhaheri continues his racing program after the summer break with a well-deserved podium in Italy. This comes as great success given his recent change and first-ever race with his new team Kart Republic.

It was a major event at Lonato, Italy, held by the World Series of Karting, with more than 250 race drivers from over 50 countries. This maiden podium for his new team adds up to Rashid’s major achievements at the beginning of the season, where he was crowned double Champion.

Flying in his UAE red-green-white-black racing suit, Rashid once more demonstrated his quick adaptability and capacity to race at the very top with a new chassis and engine brand as he rose to the challenge against 71 drivers in the competitive OK-Junior class. The competition was fierce, as the world’s best young talents lined up at this important international opener of the autumn’s racing season.

Traffic during the qualifications, allowed Al Dhaheri to be placed only 28th. But the qualification heats once again demonstrated the young racer’s fighting spirit and consistency, giving Rashid a strong start, as he achieved good heats under dry conditions placing himself overall 11th among the top drivers, climbing up the positions from the unfortunate qualifying.

While the elimination heats were run in dry conditions, pouring rain fell on Sunday morning before the pre-final. Rain and wet tracks highlight the driving skills of the racers and makes things trickier for the pilots. But Rashid triumphed in the 17-lap pre-final to take pole position for the final.

Rashid Al Dhaheri in action in Italy
Rashid Al Dhaheri in action in Italy Image Credit: Supplied

On a dry track for the final, Rashid showed great maturity against faster karts to secure third spot and a place on the podium. After Rashid received his trophy and the UAE flag was hoist during the podium ceremony, he said: “The race was tough. During the first laps we all were with each other. Of course, we all wanted to be first. So, it was a big fight and I tried to do my best. Of course, there are some things to learn — as always — hopefully we apply these things in the next round. The team was very helpful, and I like to thank KR for their support. It is a good start for us together. We were able to try a lot of material under the rain and on dry track and we were able to land a good set-up. Now we know what we should work on and hopefully in the next round, in Adria, we will be able to win.”

Coach and former Formula 2 champion Fausto Ippoliti added: “After the summer break we are back to race at the very top. This is an excellent achievement, because a podium with a new team, new engine, new kart, a new mechanic is a great start and promises more success to come.”