Ramadan Challenge returns to Dubai kartdrome with new Junior Cup

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Drivers from last year's Ramadan Challenge.

Kart racers of all ages will contest a host of prizes awarded at the end of the four rounds on Sunday, 3 July 2016.

The 2016 Ramadan Challenge is set to introduce changes to the racing format, including the launch of the Junior Cup, which is open to anyone aged between 7 and 14-years-old.

Drivers over 15-years-old will compete in the Senior Cup, while the separate Masters sub-category is open for those aged over 35.

“There has been a huge buzz around the karting community for the 2016 Ramadan Challenge, especially with the addition of the Junior Cup to the bill. With new formats for both juniors and seniors, racing will be very close,” said David Bright, Dubai Kartdrome assistant manager.

Junior Cup competitors will race the indoor circuit, while the remaining categories will take to the outdoor equivalent.

2016 Ramadan Challenge Schedule

  • Rd 1: Monday, 13 June
  • Rd 2: Sunday, 19 June
  • Rd 3: Sunday, 26 June
  • Rd 4: Sunday, 3 July

Race action for the Junior Cup starts at 17.00, the Seniors and Masters getting underway at 20.00.

The crowning prize for the Senior Cup Champion is a fully funded Rotax or Iame race weekend, courtesy of Energy Karts Dubai.

The Junior Cup Champion will also be rewarded with a fully funded race weekend of Rotax or Iame, courtesy of CRG Middle East.

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UAE karting sensation Rashid Al Dhaheri takes top spot in Italy

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Al Dhaheri continued his fine form on the track in Italy.

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.

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Asteco keen to support Ed Jones’ IndyCar dreams

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Ed Jones.

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.

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