Young Emirati schoolboy karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri narrowly missed out on the top spot at the WSK Final Cup last weekend (22nd-25th November), in the face of a stellar performance with more than 100 other competitors during the four-day event. Despite consecutive podiums in qualifying and the heats, and crossing the finish line in 1st position in the final Rashid incurred a 10 second penalty as a result of a jumpstart at the beginning of the final race, which dropped him down the rankings to 9th position.
The final race weekend of the WSK Final Cup, marking the end of the 13th International Karting Season, took place under challenging conditions on the cold, wet track with the strong rainy weather near Adria in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Regardless of the adverse weather, the young Emirati karting star made a purposeful start to the proceedings by coming in 3rd in the qualifying heats.
Starting 2nd on the grid in the prefinal Rashid went on to build on his excellent performance over the weekend with an impressive victory, notching up the fastest lap and a stunning 3.9 second lead over 2nd place. This earned him another start on the front row of the grid in the final, from here Rashid quickly took pole position where he remained for the rest of the race, crossing the line with a significant lead. However, due to a jump start at the beginning of the final race Rashid incurred a 10 second penalty dropping him into 9th place out of the 34 overall.
Even with this setback, the talented Emirati karting star still finished a respectable 7th overall in the Mini category for the WSK Final Cup, with 96 points gained.
Flying under the banner of Tony Kart Racing Team, this race saw Rashid compete against some of the most talented young drivers in the world, in the 60cc Mini Class. The event consisted of three back-to-back days of qualifying and racing.
Rashid said: “I had a wonderful race and I was excited to be racing against some of the best kart racers in the world. It was great to achieve front of the grid on such a great track which was a joy to race. I learned valuable lessons from losing points in my jump start, but even so it was incredible to race past the finish line in first position. I look forward to more first place finishes in future.”
Coach and ex-Formula 2 Champion, Italian Fausto Ippoliti, was on hand to support Al Dhaheri throughout the three days and summed up: “It was a great for Rashid to start front row of the grid and race past in first position, even though it was highly unfortunate to lose 10 seconds on a penalty. However, such an experience provides valuable lessons for Rashid to learn and I am certain the strong performance will instill great confidence and see victories in future.”
After his successful debut karting race weekend in Italy, Al Dhaheri will return to action for the Asian Karting Open Championship in Macau – China from the 7th till the 9th December 2018.