Dubai, UAE, 14 November 2019: The future of UAE motorsport looks promising as efforts to bolster grass roots racing by IAME and Dubai Kartdrome are coming to fruition. A record 27-kart grid of IAME Minis, for competitors aged 8 to 12 years old, lined up to challenge Round Two of the IAME UAE Series on Friday, 1 November at Dubai Kartdrome.
Almost the entire grid was composed of kids coming directly from grass roots programs such as Dubai Autodrome Karting Academy (DAKA), Emirates Schools Karting Championship (ESKC) and Sodi World Series (SWS) Junior Cup sprint racing.
Dubai Kartdrome Manager David Bright said, “It was heartening to see so many kids line up for the IAME Mini grid. Through programs like DAKA, SWS Junior Cup and ESKC, and with the excellent support of IAME and SWS, we have made great efforts to make kart racing accessible for all ages.”
“The kids racing here today will be the champions of tomorrow.”
IAME Mini RD2 Highlights
SWS Junior Cup Ace, Federico Al Rifai, was in perfect form, wrapping up the qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:03.063, three tenths of second faster than Harry Hannam, who settled for P2.
Rookie driver Benjamin Wade did well to place fourth overall in qualifying with a best lap time of 1:03.425, the only Rookie Class racer to dip below the 1:04 mark.
In the next three races, Al Rifai showed no signs of slowing down. The veteran driver won the Heat and Pre-Finals, taking the chequered flag by over three seconds ahead of the field both times.
In the Finals, Sebastian Murray stepped up and took the fight to Al Rifai, but Federico was able to hold off his rival, sneaking past the finish line just 0.472 seconds ahead of Murray.
Wade was the best Rookie driver for two races but then he suffered a heart-breaking DNF in the Finals to relinquish the top spot of the Rookie podium to Oliver Naylor.
Luke Pearce ended the day as the best Novice driver, taking the Rookie Novice category trophy by finishing 0.130 seconds ahead of Abdulwahab Al Habsi.
Report: Aaron Meriwether
Photos: IAME & CK Designs