Young Emirati karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri achieved a convincing win at the 25th Winter Cup at South Garda Karting in Lonato Italy, over the 14th-16th February. This achievement provides a continuation of a star-studded 2019 and adds to an exciting start of 2020, as Rashid adds another trophy to his cabinet.
The Winter Cup attracted more than 300 drivers from 47 countries in four categories. Rashid took part in the Mini ROK category and had a solid performance throughout the racing weekend, with qualifiers and heats seeing him reach the apex of pole position in his group. This saw Rashid well-placed in second row of the grid upon the final race start.
Straightaway in the first lap of the race, Rashid, flying Parolin colours with kart number 457, broke through from the second to the first row and surged ahead to the front, overtaking the competition and immediately taking the lead. With the standard of racers high, the competition was fierce throughout the race and the chasing karts made this a challenge.
With a stunning performance, the young talent held firm throughout the 12 laps and with a stellar performance dominated the race. The victory didn’t come easy however, as the second-place kart spent the whole race glued to Rashid’s rear bumper.
The final battle on the last lap saw high pressure for Rashid, however he held out with a brilliant performance. Pulling away from the chasing second and third karts, as the checkered flag waved, Rashid powered ahead over the finish line to achieve victory.
Shortly after receiving his trophy, Rashid said: “South Garda is a track I know well and to win here is always special, particularly on this occasion where it was a tough racing weekend. The competition was strong and it is a split second here and there on straits and corners that makes the difference. Therefore, I would like to thank my coach Fausto Ippoliti who teaches me how to maximise my edge and my mechanic that makes my kart run to its best.”
Team Principal Marco Parolin said: “This victory has provided Rashid with a superb start to 2020 and this Winter Cup at the South Garda track attracts some of the greatest global racers. It is a great privilege to work so closely with talent that is flourishing and my team is proud to be involved in Rashid’s development. We anticipate that on the strong platform from 2019’s many trophy wins, we can work with Rashid on refining his abilities to a higher level.”
The South Garda Karting track was built in 1988 and features a full-length of 1200 metres, a width of nine metres and grandstand capacity of 2000 people. The circuit is renowned as one of the most important International tracks, is CIK FIA approved and has been specifically designed to deliver an adrenaline-fuelled route.