Mid-term school exams have forced Oman Karting Team (OKT) racer Sanad al Rawahi to pull out of the forthcoming fifth and sixth round of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Series 2012-2013 to be held at the Dubai Kartdrome on January 18-19. Sanad currently leads the overall championship standings in the DD2 class after four rounds with 364 points.
He has a 26-point advantage over his nearest rival, Oliver George, and leads by 38 points over thirdplaced Mohammed al Dhaheri. The pullout from two races in the 13-round series could substantially dent his chances of claiming the overall title. The last round of the series ends in April and the OKT driver will have to make up for the loss by winning all the remaining seven races when he returns to action. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Suleiman al Rawahi, OKT manager and Sanad's father, said, “He is in the final year of school. The results of the mid-term exams are crucial for his final grades.
He cannot take the risk of skipping these exams. It may lead to him losing the overall title, but we had to make a decision that balances his passion for the sport with academics.” Sanad has been in good form over the past four rounds and launched his DD2 class campaign in October last year with a runner-up finish in the opening round. He bettered his performance in the next round with a victory, but was pipped by Dhaheri in the third round and finished second. Despite that runner-up finish, Sanad recorded the fastest lap of 59.983 seconds in the third round.
In the previous round held in December, Sanad maintained a podium finish with a third place and tightened his grip on the overall lead. Meanwhile, Sanad's younger brother, Abdullah al Rawahi, who faced mechanical problems in the first three rounds, won the fourth round Max Senior class.
The victory helped Abdullah claim a podium in the overall ranking with 263 points, but he trails the leader, Alexandre Silanine, by 47 points. Piers Pakenham-Walsh is on second with 293 points. Abdullah hopes to be on the podium in the coming rounds to keep his place in the top three of the series, which is organised by the Al Ain Raceway Kart Club (AARKC). The UAE Rotax Max Challenge Series serves as the National Karting Championship of the country.