There may not be a single Formula One driver today who did not start his career in karting or didn’t enjoy kart racing in his initial years. So, it is no surprise that all kids aspiring for a racing career start on a karting track. Here in the UAE, motorsport enthusiasts have even more reason to cheer.
Apart from a diverse array of sports and adventure activities, UAE has become known for top-class circuits and facilities for kart racing, to the delight of adrenaline junkies. One of the most visited tracks is the Dubai Kartdrome, which has been providing special programs for youngsters to learn karting fundamentals.
The Dubai Autodrome Karting Academy (DAKA) was launched by Dubai Autodrome, the UAE’s premier motorsport and entertainment hub, under its Kartdrome facility, in 2018. Apart from catering to a growing number of karting enthusiasts in the emirate, the first karting academy in the region offers an ideal after-school activity that has been designed to initiate kids aged 7 to 16 to the exciting world of kart racing.
Program for young kart-racers
DAKA’s 10-week program led by championship winning drivers and coaches enables young children to learn about the all-important aspects of kart racing, beginning with the basics such as racing lines on different circuit configurations and understanding apexes, braking points, and correct steering technique. After mastering the elementary aspects, they will graduate to more advanced training such as overtaking, defending, and even kart maintenance.
Building on the success of DAKA level 1 and 2, the Academy opened its level 3 program on May 10, 2021, providing a platform for kids to test the skills they learned and acquired during the first two levels. In fact, the level 3 program enables learners to delve deeper into kart maintenance and gain hands on experience working with two-stroke race karts.
The Academy equips its young students with firsthand experiences and tutorials on how to change tires, spark plugs, kart wheel removal and refitting and much more, thereby enriching the overall learning experience of students.
DAKA prodigies make their mark on global stage
After enhancing his training and knowledge on karting through DAKA courses, Zain El Homassany, an 11-year-old kart racer who is now equipped with professional skills and confidence, is all set to represent the UAE at the Rotax World Finals. Yet another DAKA-trained Oscar Lambert will take his professional karting skills to a national competition at the SWS World Finals to be held in Italy. This 13-year-old racing wunderkind gained a solid training ground from DAKA courses, which enhanced his overall potential.
Ed Jones, the country’s most successful racer so far, regularly visits Dubai Kartdrome as he continues to represent the UAE on global competitions, as well as 13-year-old Emirati Rashid Al Dhaheri, a young karting star who has been competing in various local and international tournaments.
Faisal Al Sahlawi, General Manager of Dubai Autodrome, said: “Dubai Autodrome Karting Academy is a passion project to boost Dubai’s motorsports scene and further educate the younger generation of motorsports enthusiasts. DAKA also provides an environment for students to learn and improve their skills before they step into the world of professional or amateur racing, thereby significantly bridging the experience-level gaps within the UAE’s racing community. Karting, like all other motorsports, requires a cautious approach and therefore, safety is our number one priority. The Dubai Kartdrome facility is equipped with extensive safety measures and supervision, with a particular emphasis on teaching students the importance of road safety and regulations to follow both on and off the track.”
David Bright, Senior Manager, Dubai Kartdrome at Dubai Autodrome, said: “DAKA has been an instrumental platform for young up and coming race drivers in the region. We are very proud of the three graduates from last year, who have since gone on to win national titles in their first season! This is a testament to the DAKA program’s success. DAKA is the first karting academy in the world that teaches kids not only how to drive quickly, but also how to work on and maintain both 2 & 4 Stroke racing karts. We cover a whole array of workshop activities, including engine removals and refits, wheel alignments and brake servicing, to name a few. All of these give the kids a great building block for understanding the basic mechanical fundamentals of vehicles.”
If a healthy dose of speed and thrill excites your little ones or if he/she has a real passion for motor racing, DAKA Academy will be the perfect place for them to begin the exciting journey into the world of motor racing, one of the fastest growing sporting activities in the world.