Rashid ‘Little Alonso’ Al Dhaheri excels at Italian Championship Kart Series despite bad luck
The Emirati schoolboy took another small step towards his dream of one day racing in Formula One after he was granted special permission to race in a higher category in the Italian Championship Kart Series last weekend.
In recognition of the progress made by the Abu Dhabi schoolboy, 7, the Italian Motorsport Federation (ACI CSAI), in coordination with the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), granted special permission to the boy known as “Little Alonso” to race in the first tier of the Parolin Academy Championship.
Marketing manager of the Parolin Academy Marco Parolin said: “I think Rashid stepping up in the higher category will be a very good experience for such a young driver. I saw him racing over the last year and I know he has the capabilities to figure well in this series.”
This past weekend at South Garda Circuit in Italy, it was straight into the deep end for Rashid as he began his weekend with a comprehensive 270-kilometre testing stint where the team worked on set up as he prepared to test his skills against “more experienced” 10-year-old boys.
His debut race in the top boys’ category did not get off to the best of starts as a disappointing qualification saw him start down the grid but he was soon battling for second place until bad luck saw his chain come off his kart and forced him to retire. Undeterred by his setback in the first race, Rashid impressed in the final as he finished eighth after starting from the back of the grid.
“This past weekend, despite being by far the youngest in the field, Rashid was not afraid. He did some nice overtaking and he did not crash in any of the rolling starts, which are usually the critical moments,” Parolin said. “This experience in a higher category is very useful for Rashid. It will speed up his development and will help him to be more mature as a race driver.”
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Updated: April 14, 2015 04:00 AM