The 10-year old Karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri continued another in a long series of firsts, as he became the first Emirati to reach the prestigious World Series Karting (WSK) podium.
With this great achievement, made at the highest level of international karting, Rashid raised the UAE flag for the first time. A tough race saw him achieving third position, as he carried out his maiden race for his new team Parolin Racing Kart in the Mini category.
Rashid demonstrated great skill, finishing first position in qualifying in his group, with a time of 55.121, nudging ahead of the competition featuring 82 drivers in his category from 25 different nationalities. Throughout the eliminatory heats, he continued his strong form as he consistently finished in second position.
Racing contact in the prefinal saw Rashid start from tenth on the grid. A thrilling final race saw Rashid as the fastest on the track, with an astonishing performance overtaking a total of seven drivers to achieve third and gain a podium finish.
Rashid said: “It was amazing to race past so many drivers and also to have so many good races in qualifying. I am proud to be the first Emirati to make it on the WSK podium and I am so happy to have been the fastest on the track. I enjoyed getting to grips with my Parolin kart, which I only recently started driving and found to be a fantastic piece of racing equipment. It’s an excellent start to the season for me, I’m so happy to be part of the Parolin team and it’s amazing to join so many other talented drivers.”
Coach and ex-Formula 2 Champion, Italian Fausto Ippoliti, was on hand to support Al Dhaheri throughout the three days and summed up: “Rashid did extremely well considering it was his first race with Parolin Racing Kart, and in the face of the challenge of using a new kart in a competitive race, still achieved a podium finish. Rashid did perform extremely well – achieving the fastest kart on the track and overtaking so many drivers is astonishing and shows great promise. Rashid has shown great adaptability to a new chassis and demonstrated a thirst to win. This proved to be a perfect start to the season’s beginning and the remainder of the season shows great promise for himself and the team.”
The WSK Champions Cup took place on the innovative FIA approved Adria International karting track. This 1,302 m course is challenging with its tight and twisty nature, with the straights connected by a series of hairpin bends.
Rashid recently joined Parolin Racing Kart for World Series races participation including WSK Karting series in Europe, Italian Championship and many others, as he continues to raise the UAE flag in the international racing scene.