Kaspersky Lab, a long lasting partner of Abu Dhabi Racing and sponsor of the Daman Speed Academy (DSA), congratulates Amna Al Qubaisi who sealed her maiden Senior Max class championship title at the Yas Marina North Circuit with one round to spare in the penultimate round of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge. After persevering for three years, Amna is now the first Arab Emirati girl to win the championship title in class.
Maxim Frolov, Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky Lab, extended his congratulations to the winner: “Kaspersky Lab is committed to support young UAE nationals’ efforts to become professional racing drivers and strengthen the country’s presence in international motorsporst, as well as to promote cybersecurity issue in the Middle East region, through its association with Abu Dhabi Racing. We are exhilarated by Amna Al Qubaisi’s glorious victory and are certain that UAE’s talented youth will be inspired by her achievement to persevere and carve a niche for themselves in the sports domain.”
Having started her 2016-2017 season in October 2016 with the first round in Al Ain, Amna displayed impressive skill and pace to seal the title in class with one round to spare, which will be held over two days (April 7-8) at the Al Ain Raceway where the championship commenced. It was never an easy road to the ultimate prize in class, but persistence, hard work and determination eventually paid off.
Competing against some of the very best from the region and the world behind the wheel of her CRG kart, the 16-year-old Abu Dhabi schoolgirl, who joined the Daman Speed Academy three years ago, took up the challenge in one of the toughest categories competing against an all-boys line-up.
Amna was pitted against top drivers such as Pasqual Pook, Abdullah Al Rawahi, Andrew Hunt, Jakob Robinson and Teymour Kermanshahchi, but she demonstrated tremendous determination, skill, pace and consistency throughout the season to emerge champion.
Going into the penultimate round, Amna had accumulated 961 points and an impressive 232-point lead over her nearest challenger. With Yas Marina Circuit’s round outright victory in the Heat, Pre-Final and Final, Amna’s lead is now unsurpassable even though there are double the points on offer at the last round in Al Ain on April 7th.
In Round 12, the gutsy Abu Dhabi schoolgirl was unstoppable, winning the Qualifying, Heat, Pre-Final and Final in a very commendable fashion, clocking the fastest laps in all four sessions on numerous occasions. The focus obviously was to seal the championship in class before the final round and yet not take too many risks to jeopardise her overall classification.
Abu Dhabi Racing Chairman Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi said: “Amna was the star of the season and we are very proud of her unique achievement.”
For the DSA, it was a long four-year wait to produce a champion but Founder Khaled Al Qubaisi was confident of his young drivers, and said: “I am extremely proud and happy with this achievement, Daman Speed Academy is now in its 3rd year and we are happy to produce finally a champion. That was the goal always from the start to have someone to be able to reach this level and win here regionally such a prestigious championship like the UAE Rotax Max Challenge. The senior max class has some of the most top and promising drivers so it is a great achievement for Amna and the academy and more so as a father and, yes, this will be a real push for her going forward in her Motorsport career. Next year we will see how to take it forward, hopefully in the single-seaters.”
The champion herself said: “This win goes to everyone at the DSA and ADR. We had a very tough season but we worked together as a determined unit. I have always believed in the Daman Speed Academy and its objectives and here we are, we made it and won the championship. I am very proud of today’s victory and the title with one race to spare as it was achieved in Abu Dhabi where I come from. This is the best Formula One track in the world so very happy to win here and also seal the title. I felt very comfortable throughout the season and now I am looking forward to the finale in Al Ain although I have already won in class, but the race will be much more relaxed I think, but I will continue competing till the very end! I would like to thank my parents for their support, my mechanic Tom and my colleagues in the academy. Also I would like to thank everyone who has consistently supported the academy, the sponsors and the media. This is not the end, it’s just the beginning!”
The final round will be held over two days from April 7-8 at the Al Ain Raceway, which incidentally will be a formality given that Amna has won the title in class but there are other titles that will be decided in other categories on that weekend.