Budding Emirati racing karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri won the Championship for the WSK Super Master series this weekend in the Mini category. His victory at the International Circuit Napoli Sarno circuit with Parolin Racing made it three wins out of four rounds of racing for this competition – including at Circuito South Garda, Brescia, and Adria Karting Raceway, Adria – the first such achievement by any Mini driver for the past six years. He achieved 322 points for the tournament in total, which placed him 76 points clear of the nearest competitor. The overall participation for the four-race championship received a total of 137 drivers from 37 different nationalities within the 8-12 category. A series of toughly-fought battles in the qualifying heats at Sarno circuit were won by Rashid, who achieved pole position for Prefinal A. Strong competition saw Rashid finish third in this prefinal and he was sixth on the grid in the challenging outside position overall. Despite this disadvantageous start to the race for the aspiring driver, as the karts took off Rashid quickly powered ahead, overtaking four drivers to already reach second position at the end of the first lap.
By the end of lap two Rashid was ahead in first and away. In a highly competitive race and with a best lap of 1:07.075, the young Emirati held firm at first in all of the remaining six laps, as the fast and furious track with the longest straight of any karting track aided Rashid’s rapid pace and style of driving, as with strong focus he avoided any mistakes. Crossing the finish line a whisker ahead of the competition, Rashid cruised to victory signalling the UAE’s three-fingered salute. Securing the World Series Karting Championship, he ascended to first on the podium as the first Arab to achieve this great honour.
Rashid said: “I am so thrilled to have achieved victory in my first championship with Parolin Racing, with the excellent performance of the kart and the way I managed to handle it due primarily to the support of the team. I owe a great debt of gratitude for the trust and confidence placed in me and my abilities by Parolin Racing, and special thanks to my longstanding coach and mentor Fausto Ippoliti, who I have learned so much from. I would like to dedicate this victory to my parents who have been so instrumental in helping me to succeed. It is wonderful to have achieved three victories out of four during this WSK Super Master series and I am delighted to have started the racing season winning the most prestigious global karting tournament.”
“It is a great honour to see the flag of the United Arab Emirates on the podium and the national anthem playing while celebrating this victory,” he added.
Team Principal of Parolin Racing Kart, Marco Parolin said: “We are so delighted to have worked with Rashid to achieve victory in the most elite karting competition in the world. It is an absolute pleasure to be working with such talent and to be off and away achieving three out of four victories in his first series of races with a new kart is a phenomenal achievement. We are excited to see what we can do next to support the development of Rashid as he continues to grow into an accomplished racer.”
The WSK Super Master Series is the pinnacle of karting of which there is no higher karting level in the world, and the tournament is followed by Formula 1 teams and management. The series has attracted many accomplished drivers and is the toughest and highest karting competition. Especially in this category, there has been high participation from a number of drivers who have gone on to become accomplished racing stars.
The race was carried out at the International Circuit Napoli Sarno, which hosts the most prestigious karting events in the world. A challenging track, it is a true arena for the most talented drivers, many of which have climbed their way up the Formula racing ladder. The track measures 1,699 metres with an average width of nine metres. Over the past ten years, the Naples International Circuit has hosted national, European and world competitions.
Rashid joined Parolin Racing Kart at the start of this season for World Series race participation including the WSK Karting series in Europe, Italian Championship and many others. Parolin Racing Kart specialises in racing and rental karts, components, accessories and engines. Parolin’s innovative spirit and creative approach in finding new technical solutions has helped it to widen a presence worldwide. The company is now known extensively as one of the most important and youngest kart manufacturers.
The racing season continues for Rashid this weekend, over the 28th March to 31st March, as he will continue racing at the WSK Euro Series Round 1 held in Italy.