Italy, Nov 16th – This coming weekend sees the culmination of the worldwide karting season as 252 drivers from 61 countries, each presenting domestic Champions and race winners, who embark on the trip from their respective countries to the La Conca International Circuit in Southern Italy for the 11th annual Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals.
Wednesday 17th marks the start of official practice after the UAE Kart Team, managed by UAE National Championship organisers Al Ain Raceway, spent Tuesday preparing their race karts for the competition alongside the cream of the world’s drivers. The four drivers with the privilege and responsibility of representing UAE on the world stage are UAE residents Edward Jones (2010 UAE Junior MAX Champion), Maurits Knopjes (2010 UAE Senior MAX Champion) and Arnaud Bouf (2010 UAE DD2 Masters Champion) and Al Ain-born Emirati National, Mohammed Al Dhaheri (2010 UAE DD2 Champion).
Each driver qualified impressively through their respective UAE class Championships in the face of intense competition from a growing number of talented local and expat racers. Mohammed Al Dhaheri, qualifying after only his first full competitive season, conveys what the experience means to him,
“To be representing my country in this event is a huge privilege for me. The level of competition and the sheer size of the grids is like nothing I have experienced before but I feel that I have prepared myself as well as possible with the kind support of Al Ain Raceway and ADTA.”
Al Dhaheri has recently taken part in an extensive testing programme in Europe, designed specifically to prepare him for the rigors of the week ahead.
“We have seen massive improvements in my conditioning and race craft over the last couple of months so I am feeling confident. Of course, I am under no illusion that this is going to be the challenge of my life and I am certainly not underestimating the quality of the 72-strong field. But the privilege of representing my country at this level is all the motivation I need to perform at the best of my abilities and do the UAE proud.”
The team will each compete in a series of timed runs and qualifying heats in an elimination format over the next few days as they try to progress through to the Finals which will be held on Sunday 21st November, following which the World Champions will be crowned.
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