Dubai, UAE, 19 June 2019: Recent graduates of the Dubai Autodrome Karting Academy (DAKA) got the chance to take everything they learned over the previous 10-20 weeks of training and test their skills in an official Sodi World Series (SWS) Junior Sprint race at Dubai Kartdrome on Tuesday (18 June).
Since its inception in January of 2019, DAKA has already trained 33 students aged seven to 16 years old the fundamentals of race craft. Twenty-six young drivers participated on graduation day, which included a demonstration on two-stroke IAME engines, a race briefing, a qualifying session, two SWS races and a prize ceremony.
Kartdrome Manager David Bright said, “After months of preparation and designing the DAKA course, to teach kids the fundamentals, of not only driving but the mechanical side as well, I am very pleased on how well received the after-school activity was.”
“Four kids from DAKA have already gone on to sign up for IAME racing and the remainder look set to compete in SWS in September. One of the aims of DAKA was to prepare new talent for both SWS and national level karting. We’re looking forward to what they can achieve in September!”
Elie Nassar was blazing early on, topping the qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:25.323, which was half a second better than the next quickest driver, Arthus Marande.
After the lights went out to signal Race One, pole sitter Nassar got swallowed up in the pack, allowing Marande, Karim Zuhour and Joshua Mcgregor to challenge for the lead. Zuhour took command of a close battle and held on for the win, crossing the finish line 0.139 seconds ahead of Mcgregor.
Race Two featured a new set of drivers, Oscar Lambert and Ayden Refaie, fighting for the frontrunner spot. The contest was again close, with Lambert taking the chequered flag just 0.133 clear of Refaie to seal the win. It was an impressive improvement for Lambert, who only managed 17th in qualifying and seventh in the first race.
After the races Dubai Autodrome General Manager and DAKA Founder, Faisal Al Sahlawi, awarded the DAKA Completion Certificates and SWS winner trophies.
The Dubai Autodrome Karting Academy
DAKA is designed for kids aged 7 to 16 years old to learn everything they need to know to start on the path to becoming a professional race driver.
DAKA is a 10-week program guided by championship winning drivers and coaches, specially created to teach children all important aspects of kart racing, starting with basics such as racing lines on different circuit configurations, understanding apexes, braking points, correct steering technique, and then graduating to more advanced skills like overtaking, defending and even kart maintenance.
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether