For each race of the 2010/2011 DAMC Karting Championship two Omani brothers Abdullah and Sanad Al Rawahi make the long trip from Oman to the Kartdrome in Dubai and this past season it has been a worthwhile journey as the pair have established themselves as respected competitors in the region’s toughest karting series – winning titles along the way.
Fourteen year old Abdullah Al Rawahi is the 2010/2011 DAMC Junior Max Champion, a title previously won by the likes of Piers Pakenham-Walsh and Edward Jones – two highly rated young drivers. Abdullah’s championship title came about through a combination of speed, consistency and downright hard work.
He looks back on the season and sums it up, “Very good and very challenging.” And in reference to the outgoing champion says, “Piers Pakenham-Walsh was my toughest rival this year.” The fact is there was little to separate the two during the course of the season. They dominated the class from race one and were responsible for some of the closest racing all season.
Looking back on the season Abdullah reflects, “I am very happy to win the championship title this year. I really worked hard all season and stayed focused all the way till the end. I am delighted to have managed a seat at the biggest karting event in the world (Rotax Max Grand Finals) that will take place this November in Al Ain. I will take a break to focus on my studies. After my exams, I will gear up for the Under-18 World Championship and the Grand Finals.”
Although Sanad Al Rawahi did not win the 2010/2011 DAMC Senior Max title he was the Courtyard by Marriott Karting Young Driver of the Year and deservedly so as the sixteen year old came of age during the season past and established himself as a force in local karting.
His duels with eventual champion Maurits Knopjes in the UAE’s premier karting class were memorable and Sanad acknowledges that the Dubai based Dutchman was his toughest rival and that the season was a steep learning curve for the young Omani.
“It was a very difficult season for me as I was racing with much more experienced drivers. But that made me work even harder. I learned a lot and I want to learn more. I am looking forward to the Under-18 World Championship and also the European races. Hopefully, I will get a chance to take part in the Al Ain Grand Finals. I am proud of my achievements so far, but we have a long way to go,” said Sanad.
Fittingly the young Omani ended his season at the Kartdrome in fine fashion by winning the heat, pre-final and final, delivering a mature performance, never putting a foot wrong on his way to scoring triple victories on the day.
It is no surprise that the brothers, Abdullah and Sanad, have made an impressive impact on local karting. The pair have been racing since they were eight and ten respectively. They both have superb support for their racing from their family - the dedication and commitment of his father Suleiman is exemplary – they both can boast some of the best turned out karts in the series and despite limited budget the duo exude professionalism.
Starting young in karting, as just about all of today’s crop of Formula 1 drivers started their careers, will give the Al Rawahi brothers an edge when developing their path up the motorsport ladder and with the right financial backing - which they thoroughly deserve - could themselves be stars of the future.