x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Just no stopping five-year-old ‘Little Alonso’

Rashid Al Dhaheri continued his impressive season with two victories in the Bambino Class at the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge Championship held at Al Ain Raceway International Kart Circuit at the start of February.

Rashid Al Dhaheri won twice in the Bambino Time Trials at the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge Championship in Al Ain. Delores Johnson / The National
Rashid Al Dhaheri won twice in the Bambino Time Trials at the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge Championship in Al Ain. Delores Johnson / The National

AL AIN // Rashid Al Dhaheri continued his impressive season with two victories in the Bambino Class at the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge Championship held at Al Ain Raceway International Kart Circuit last weekend.

In both of the Bambino Time Trials, the Emirati, who has been nicknamed “Little Alonso”, outpaced his closest rivals by more than two seconds on his way to scooping the big prize in the category for the country’s youngest race drivers.

The performance in Al Ain came two weeks after an equally dominant performance at Dubai Kartdrome, which was the start of his current winning streak.

Rashid, 5, who drives with a race suit and helmet that are replicas of the ones that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso uses in Formula One, is quickly etching his name on the local racing scene, and he is starting to raise eyebrows with his impressive performances and rapid development.

“The kid is insatiable,” said Paul Chatenay, Rashid’s coach.

“He just wants to drive and drive. Rashid’s passion and commitment to the sport is unfathomable, and if he continues in this spirit and energy, he will fast establish himself not only on the UAE karting scene, but for sure also on the international stage.”

Rashid’s father, Ali Al Dhaheri, says he is just as impressed by his son’s fast start.

“I am really pleased with the latest progress in Rashid’s racing,” he said.

“He is making his mark in his first season of racing. At the sixth round [in Al Ain] Rashid produced another set of truly remarkable performances achieving a [first-placed] finish in both races and beating his closest challenger by more than over two seconds.”

Rashid’s next challenge is at a track he has yet to tackle: Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, on February 28.

sports@thenational.ae