Young UAE karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri wins ROK Cup race in China

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That winning feeling: Rashid Al Dhaheri

Young UAE karting star Rashid Al Dhaheri made his debut in the ROK Cup Championship in China in the mini class.

Despite the challenging and highly changeable weather conditions Al Dhaheri triumphed on the circuit which required changing the tyres as well as the strategic plan during the race.

On day one, Al Dhaheri qualified fastest to take pole position and remained in the lead throughout the race, maintaining his speed to take first place comfortably. However, despite this excellent start, in the final race of the day, Al Dhaheri was forced into second position by a competitor where he remained till the end of the race.

On the second day, Al Dhaheri came in fifth place during the warm up race due after struggling with grip as a result of the rain and tyres. In the first heat on the final day the Emirati champion quickly rectified this moving from fifth to third, and then took pole position in the final laps of the race despite the race despite the extremely wet conditions.

In the final race of the competition, Rashid started in first position and drove an impeccable race, extending his lead throughout the race to cross the finish line in a comfortable first place and record his first victory at the Red 1 International karting race in his first participation.

His victory on the second day underlined a solid performance all weekend and the youngster said: “It was a great race and I have really enjoyed. It is always a good feeling to win.”

Coach and ex-Formula 2 champion, Italian Fausto Ippoliti, added: “It was a great win for Rashid, once again he rose to the occasion and showed his prodigious natural talents, it was a well-deserved victory.

“I was particularly impressed with Rashid’s capacity to rapidly adapt to the changeable weather conditions and setting up the kart to get the pole position very effectively. This shows how he has evolved with experience and drives with a maturity beyond his age.”

Al Dhaheri will return to action for the Italian ROK Championship in Adria – Italy on 7-9 September

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FIM world champion Mohammad Al Balooshi thought his title hopes were dashed

Denzil Pinto 14/08/2018
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Top of the world: Mohammad Al Balooshi

Newly-crowned FIM world champion Mohammad Al Balooshi admitted he feared for his title chances following his concussion in April’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

The Emirati rider won the Bajas World Championship in Hungary by a margin of six points at the weekend in a tricky third and final round in Veszprem.

The feat meant Al Balooshi became the UAE’s first-ever FIM world champion but it was an emotional journey in getting his hands on the title.

The 38-year-old was out of action for 10 weeks after being knocked unconscious during April’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Although he was discharged from hospital in 48 hours, the impact of the accident meant Al Balooshi was back on the wheels in mid-June. He wasn’t at his best in his first outing – the second round in Aragon but was still in the title mix going into Hungary.

With the trophy won, Al Balooshi opened up on how difficult it was to stand top of the podium.

“It wasn’t easy because I was off the training programme for around 10 weeks and didn’t do anything during that time,” he told Sport360.

“In the Baja Aragon it was really uncomfortable because it was the first race. I didn’t think about the crash too much but the way I was riding, it was in the back of my head and just managed to collect points. I went to Hungary and it was similar but it was better because I was fast and knew what I needed to do to secure the title. You have to ride smart at times. I had everything to lose and the championship was in my hand. But I have been in this situation before and I just wanted to focus on the task.”

The Abu Dhabi native will continue racing in regional and UAE-based races until the end of the year before flying out for next year’s Dakar Rally in January.

He isn’t getting too carried away on his title chances in South American but insists progress will be key.

“I want to improve my result and I feel there should be progress every year. I don’t believe in jumping big steps and it’s important to finish high. Last year I finished 32nd and next year the aim would be to half that and anywhere in 15th position would be good,” he added.

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Dubai Falcons racing team clinch inaugural Summer Enduro Cup title

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Winner- Anjum Shaikh crosses the finish line for Dubai Falcons Racing Team

Romaldo Labrooy and Anjum Shaikh of Dubai Falcons Racing Team were relentless in pursuit of their third win in a row at Dubai Kartdrome on Monday, wrapping up the 2018 Sodi World Series (SWS) Summer Enduro Cup Championship in top form.

Arjun Manjunath of Emirates PRO presented a challenge to the Dubai Falcons early on by securing pole position with a best lap time of 52.358 on the Speedway Bus Stop Circuit at Dubai Kartdrome.

However, endurance races are not won on a single fast lap, and the steady and controlled driving by veterans Labrooy and Shaikh made all the difference in the race.

After 145 laps and over two hours of racing, Dubai Falcons Racing Team made it look easy, with Anjum Shaikh crossing the finish line a full 22.798 seconds ahead of Emirates PRO.

Championship rivals, SLD Racing, struggled in the final round, settling for a fifth-place finish and leaving the door wide open for Dubai Falcons Racing Team to walk home with the title.

Summer Enduro Cup Championship Podium.

Summer Enduro Cup Championship Podium.

Over the three rounds of the SWS Summer Enduro Cup, the Dubai Falcons were near perfect in their pursuit of the 2018 title.

They racked up three straight victories, two pole positions, one fastest lap and 153 total championship points.

Muteb Alsaqhan and Duarte Lopes of SLD Racing collected 128 points for second-place, just four points above Mohammed Ismail and Saeed Al Mehairi of Al Ain Falcons Racing Team with 124 points and the third step on the championship podium.

The track variations in each round may have been difficult for some drivers, but winner Anjum Shaikh enjoyed the challenge.

He said, “Great championship and the best part was the three different tracks.”

Along with the winning trophy, Labrooy and Shaikh also received prizes, including free entry into Round Three of the Dubai Kartdrome Endurance Championship (19-20 October) and hotel vouchers at the Park Inn by Radisson in MotorCity.

Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright said, “Congratulations to Romaldo and Anjum.

“They demonstrated spectacular driving on their way to a well-earned victory to take the first Summer Enduro Cup title.”

“I’d also like to thank George Gibbons Motorsport (GGM) and Park Inn by Radisson in MotorCity for supporting the series and providing great prizes for the top teams.”

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