‘Little Alonso’ impresses on Italian track

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Supreme six-year-old: Rashid Al Dhareri.

Six-year old schoolboy Rashid Al Dhaheri has returned home to Abu Dhabi with a big trophy for his efforts in the Trofeo Academy Championkart at Ala Karting Circuit near Verona.

The youngster – known as Little Alonso – who is on the final stages of an intensive summer karting campaign in Italy, continued his busy schedule with 12 practice sessions driving more than 180km on the challenging circuit on the foot of the Alps.

In the first heat, starting 16th out of 25 drivers, Al Dhaheri gave a gutsy performance as he powered through the field to take fourth place.

From second place on the grid Al Dhaheri challenged for the lead in heat two, and managed to hold on to take second place – a good reward for a tough weekend in the 6-10 year-old category.

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Shiraz set to host MERC trial event this month

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Set to host candidate event: Iran.

 Iran will host a FIA Middle East Rally Champi­onship (MERC) candidate event from September 24-26, ahead of its inclusion in the re­gional series from the next season.

The Motorcycle and Automobile Federation of the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran (MAFIRI) while yes­terday confirming the dates, also announced that the rally would be held in the Shiraz region, with Hani Shaaban (above) named as manager of the trial event.

The ceremonial start to the rally will be Wednesday, September 24, in front of the historical Quran Gate in Shiraz and following an overnight service in the parc ferme the competitive stages will run over two days from September 25-26.

Competitors will tackle a total of 235km over the two days.

MAFIRI also announced to­tal prize-money worth $10,000 (Dh36,700) for those who finish on the podium.

Iran is one of three countries selected by the FIA to host candi­date events this year, with the UAE scheduled to host its event from October 16-17 while Oman is yet to announce its dates.

With the expected confirmation of these countries on the MERC’s 2015 calendar, the regional series will expand to nine rounds from next year.

Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus and Dubai already host a round of the regional series.

With Abu Dhabi’s inclusion from next year, the UAE will have the sole distinction of hosting two rounds of the regional series, with a provisional date for April 9 already included on the calendar.

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Dubai team Memac to race at Barcelona 24 hours

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All in the family: Memac Ogilvy team.

The Memac Ogilvy Duel Racing team will participate in the Hank­ook 24H Barcelona race from Sep­tember 5-7.

The provisional entry list for the endurance race includes 70 teams with drivers from 25 different na­tionalities and no less than 18 dif­ferent car brands represented on the grid.

The Dubai-based team’s 22 mem­bers have completed preparations on their Seat Leon Supercopa for the race, and they aim to finish in first place and bring the trophy to Dubai.

The team was founded in 2007 by Ramzi, Nabil and Sami Moutran and is owned by their father Ed­die. Since its inception, the team has taken part in numerous races including the Barcelona and Dubai 24-hour races, as well as taking part in national UAE championships.

The three brothers will share the car with British driver Phil Quaife over the course of the 24 hours of racing.

Meanwhile, the Hankook 24H Dubai will celebrate its 10th run­ning at Dubai Autodrome from January 8-10.

Series organiser and promoter Gerrie Willems of Creventic said: “What started as a relatively small initiative at club racing level with 60 cars back in 2006 has now be­come firmly established as one of the classic endurance races for GTs, touring cars and 24H specials.

“An international grid with up to 90 entrants, a great variety of cars and drivers and teams from all over the world has become the norm.”

The 2015 Hankook 24H DUBAI is the season opener of the six-round series.

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