Dubai, UAE, 16 January 2020: Top kart racers from the GCC and around the world will pack into Dubai Kartdrome on Friday and Saturday (17-18 January) to challenge the 2020 edition of the renowned Dubai O-Plate Championship.
Many of last year’s champions are set to return and grab another famous yellow O-Plate, including Liam Crystal, Rami Azzam, Valerio Rinicella, Filippo Parmeggiani, Jamie Day, Tony Hogg, Hussain Umid Ali, Atef Al Barwani and Shonal Kunimal.
The champs will be up against some tough competition to retain their crowns. After lighting up kart circuits all over Europe and Asia, Emirati karting ace Rashid Al Daheri returns to Dubai as a serious contender in the IAME X30 Cadet class, up against last year’s rookie winner Filippo Parmeggiani.
Valerio Rinicella moves from Cadet to IAME X30 Junior Class and he’ll be up against the likes of Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Kamal Agha, Keanu Al Azhari, Danny Shields and Alex Renner for the coveted plate.
Jamie Day moves from Junior into the highly competitive IAME X30 Senior grid, to challenge the defending champion, Liam Crystal. The Brazilian driver was nearly flawless in the Grand Final last year and a big favourite to retain his title. Odds are also with Rami Azzam to defend the Masters category of the Senior field.
It was heartbreak for Alessandro Stura last year, who topped qualifying and won every IAME X30 Shifter race except the last. He’ll be looking to bounce back in 2020 and get that O-Plate, but Amna Al Qubaisi may present a major obstacle in his quest. In the Veterans part of the Shifter field, Tony Hogg already has two O-Plates in his collection and he’ll be a heavy favourite to pick up a third.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: Aaron Meriwether & Arthur Rosales