Rashid turns up the heat to secure WSK Euro Series Championship, in sweltering midnight race during a heatwave
Dubai, UAE – 02 July 2019: Young Emirati racing driver Rashid Al Dhaheri’s star continues to rise as he becomes World Series Karting Euro Series Champion in the Mini Series category, his second championship in a row this racing season. With consistently strong race performances throughout the whole WSK Euro Series, Rashid’s second-place podium finish in this challenging final night edition race at Adria International Raceway, saw him finish the series with a mammoth 300 points. This placed a significant gap of 65 points ahead of his nearest competitor, achieving a resounding championship victory.
This final race weekend of the series took place from 6pm until 1am, a wholly new experience for Rashid, which gave the young driver a real contest to overcome. To aid vision, the kart’s nose was mounted with a special light tailored to brightening up the front for clear vision. This unique experience is quite a rarity in karting.
Surmounting a second-place position in the championship before the race to achieve first-place in the championship overall was a significant result for Rashid, who did so closely ahead of two talented drivers from the UK and Belgium. With strong consistency throughout a stellar championship series, a number of quality performances were delivered from the young talent.
Rashid achieved second in qualifying series 2, and in group E he accomplished first, third, first and first in eliminatory heats. This strong foundation supported further success, as the racer was able to keep relaxed and finish first in qualifying heats. The young star was now set up well for his prefinal, and he drove an intelligent race to gain second on the grid for the final.
Undeterred, Rashid kept his cool with a clear head. After his victory in the elimination races, Rashid entered into the Prefinal as the Championship leader, bringing the advantage to his side. Keeping focus and staying humble in his approach to the race, Rashid was mindful of his overall strategy to become champion.
Throughout the race, which took place during a scorching and unbearable heatwave with air temperatures going up to 46 degrees Celsius during warm-up and elimination race timings, drivers were under a lot of strain and with difficult kart set-ups. Asphalt temperatures exceeded by far 55 degrees Celsius.
As the finish line neared, cameras and journalists trained their focus to the finish line and waited in anticipation for the young star. Driving with such pressure and with an eye on a second title of this calibre was huge. Racing as consistently as he had throughout the WSK Euro Series races, Rashid achieved a strong second-place finish to leap ahead to first position in the championship. The young star had made the impossible possible, with a double of WSK Championships an unprecedented achievement by any person from the Arabian Peninsula or the Asian continent.
Commenting on his championship victory, Rashid said “I’ve never taken part in a midnight race before, so I knew I faced a huge challenge to perform my best after midnight, to stay completely awake, be fully focussed and race under the floodlights. I applied a lot of my training, which I can thank my coach Fausto Ippoliti for, and also tried to maintain calm and focus. I’m so happy that I won this championship and am humbled that I achieved this with so many talented drivers on the field. To win two WSK Championships is amazing and I would like to thank the Parolin Racing Kart team, this victory is a collective victory for us all.”
Team Principal of Parolin Racing Kart, Marco Parolin said: “Rashid has only just joined Parolin Racing Kart and has already had an astonishing season. To win not one but two of the most important karting championships at this level, with the most talented young drivers in the world, is quite phenomenal. Time after time Rashid has proven his tenacity through hard-fought races whatever the circumstances and it is a joy to watch this young talent develop even further.”
The WSK Euro Series race took place on the innovative FIA approved Adria Karting raceway. This 1,302m course is challenging with its tight and twisty nature, with the straights connected by a series of hairpin bends.
The WSK Euro Series Championship by Rashid follows on from his WSK Super Master Championship victory in the Mini category earlier in the racing season. For the WSK Master Series Rashid achieved three wins out of four rounds of racing for this competition, which was the first such achievement by any Mini driver for the past six years.
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.