Rising UAE motorsport talent Rashid Al Dhaheri continues to move through the gears of promise after becoming the youngest ever Emirati to win an officially sanctioned kart race on the international stage.
The seven-year-old claimed a hugely impressive victory in the Parolin Championship held in Siena, Italy, last weekend.
The Abu Dhabi schoolboy was in fine form at the Pista Internazionale di Siena, near Firenze, motoring to success despite being the youngest driver in the field.
Al Dhaheri signalled his intent early on in Tuscany with a strong showing in qualifying where he claimed pole position. He then did the business in the pre-final, ensuring he would start the final from the front row.
The youngster showed plenty of mettle in the final race on the first day, he was third into the first turn but contact early on saw him drop down to 10th with four laps to go. He eventually fought back to finish sixth, setting the fastest lap in the process.
It was a deja-vu on Sunday, the UAE talent again securing pole for the pre-final, winning with a controlled performance and again setting himself up with a front row start for the final.
This time Al Dhaheri was ruthless, part of an initial pack of eight drivers slugging for the lead, all separated by less than two seconds, slotting into second place in the early stages.
Trophy ceremony - winning in Italy!!! pic.twitter.com/MzIePQuMqc
— Rashid Al Dhaheri (@aldhaherirashid) June 21, 2015
Attacking early on by using the slipstream of the leader, he edged ahead and never looked back, setting the pace until the chequered flag.
A first victory in the Parolin Championship, which features some of Italy’s finest young drivers, puts him fifth overall in the standings. It will also allow him to move up to a higher category. Team manager Fausto Ippoliti said: “Lots of experience gained by Rashid this weekend.
“He showed that using his head, keeping cool and resisting the pressure from the big boys, all helps get to the top step of the podium.
“It was a tough weekend of on-track battles but the reward is that Rashid now lies fifth in the championship, a great performance considering he is the youngest kid in the field who joined the series late and missed out on the opening round. We tackle the two remaining rounds of the summer with optimism.”
Parolin marketing manager Marco Parolin added: “Rashid has been very smooth and attentive so far. It was a double-race weekend that required an important effort, and he was able to maintain the concentration throughout and this is notable from a seven-year-old kid.”