At Italy’s Circuito Internazionale del Friuli Venezia Giulia, the eight-year-old was unfazed by being one of the youngest drivers on the track by battling tough weather conditions to claim fourth in the final. That result saw him earn the winning trophy in the Rookie Class.
His team manager Fausto Ippoliti was impressed with the result for what was a difficult weekend for the Abu Dhabi school boy.
“It was not an easy race weekend for Rashid,” he said. “The weather conditions kept on changing from session to session and we encountered a number of technical issues on the Saturday. However, despite this, Rashid drove very well in the Pre-Final and Final and took on older and more experienced drivers.
“In the end it was a challenging weekend, but one in which Rashid and the team have learned a great deal, and this is the best experience for a young driver.”
Al Dhaheri will now just have over a week to prepare for his next competitive outing when he lines up in the ROK North Championship in Adria in Italy on June 19.
The talented 21-year-old, who is turning heads and attracting attention with his immense talent on the Indy Light circuit in the US this year, finished his 2015 rookie season in third position driving for the Carlin team. This season, after eight rounds of racing, he is currently leading the drivers’ championship – 29 points ahead of his nearest rival, with a further 10 rounds to go.
In his most recent race, Jones claimed second place in the Mazda Freedom 100 on May 27, losing out on victory in the closest-ever finish in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Dean Stoneman by 0.00024 seconds.
Asteco managing director John Stevens said: “Ed’s personal qualities certainly provide synergy with our own corporate values. Ambition, talent and determination are just a few of the core values shared between us, so we had no hesitation supporting him when the opportunity arrived.”
Jones’ next challenge in Indy Light will be the Round 9 and 10 races at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on June 24 and 26.
The Mazda Road to Indy is the only driver development programme in the world to feature a champion’s scholarship at every level to advance to the next step on the ladder. The Indy Lights champion is awarded a $1 million scholarship which pays toward competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races including the Indianapolis 500.
Team and driver prize packages total over $1.9 million.
“We are proud to be supporting such a talented young racing driver who is flying the flag for the UAE in the US. Ed’s performance so far has been very impressive and we hope he can achieve his ultimate goal this year of winning the Indy Lights championship,” added Stevens.
If you’ve ever driven your car or ridden your bike down an empty road and wished you could put pedal to the metal, Dubai Autodrome’s Track Days/Evenings are for you.
The event allows all drivers and riders to experience what their respective vehicle can do in the safe and exciting confines of Dubai Autodrome’s rack track. That means you can let loose without restrictions or constraints and see what your car or bike can really do in a controlled setting.
Those wanting to test out their bikes can get the rush on Thursday, June 16, while those with cars can hit the pavement on Friday, June 24. Both dates feature club circuits and are for novice and advanced riders only.
“Track Days/Evenings allow drivers or riders to explore the performance of their cars or bikes in a controlled and safe environment,” said Bert Grogor, sponsorship & business development manager for Dubai Autodrome.
“Traditionally the average road user will never explore the true performance of their car or bike, however driving or riding on a fully sanctioned FIA Grade 1 race circuit will undoubtedly push their own limits as well as their vehicle’s limits.
“As you circulate one of our six different circuit configurations you can expect to achieve high speeds, hard braking zones and fast sweeping corners. We feel these experiences are important to help you become a better driver/rider and hopefully bring you a new found respect for driving and driving safety.”
To ensure safety, Dubai Autodrome will have marshals posted, along with safety trucks, ambulances and also paramedic services available.
Though anyone with a drivers’ license can participate in Track Days/Evenings, drivers who have not taken part before must first enroll and then join the novice Track Evening.
Drivers must also wear a helmet at all times on the track and if you don’t own one, you can rent a helmet on the day for Dh50. Any road-worthy car, except for single-seaters, open-wheel cars or SUVs, can be used on the track.
For more information and to book your Track Day, visit www.dubaiautodrome.com.