Rashid Al Dhaheri worked hard to claim victory in round 4 of the UAE IAME X30 Championship at Al Forsan, in Abu Dhabi despite tough conditions.
From the moment the Cadet’s set out for qualifying it was clear that the track was slippery with conditions varying constantly from rain to wind with lots of sand on the track, which when coupled to traffic, did not make life easy for Al Dhaheri. Despite this, he managed to set the second fastest time in the session.
In the Heat race he made a good start to take an early lead, but his kart was incorrectly setup for the kart for the constantly changing weather conditions so was unable maintain grip and speed and he finished fourth.
Undeterred by the result and fired-up to make up lost ground, Al Dhaheri bounced back in the Pre-Final despite getting caught up in a first lap confusion, caused by an accident just ahead of him. Despite losing precious time as a result, Rashid recovered well to claim second place while chasing the leader all the way to the finish line, setting the fastest lap in the process.
Starting from second place in the Final, again on the dusty outside of the track, Al Dhaheri was at the sharp end of the field, battling for first place during the early laps before making a break to take victory, by 2.4 seconds.
Team manager Fausto Ippoliti summed up the day: “It was not an easy race for Rashid, who was the youngest of the field. However the various challenges of the day only made him more determined to win. Rashid was clearly the fastest on track setting some of the fastest times of the day 0.3 sec ahead of his closest competitor. Starting on the slippery outside in all the races also did not help his cause, but he worked hard, stayed focused and managed well to bring home a well-deserved victory.”
Al Dhaheri added: “Winning at my home track is always a great feeling! The start and first few laps were really important, so I stayed concentrated and focused on my driving to create the gap.”
The Abu Dhabi schoolboy is mixing his UAE karting season with another campaign in Italy and will next be in action at the WSK Super Masters Series Round 2, at Castelletto Di Branduzo in early March which is reputated to be the toughest level in the world for the 8-12 years old category.