Sport

UAE's father-daughter duo take Yas Marina Circuit by storm

UAE's father-daughter duo take Yas Marina Circuit by storm

Abu Dhabi Racing UAE's Emirati father-daughter duo Khaled Al Qubaisi and Hamda powered to podium finishes in different categories of motor racing at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The 44-year-old Khaled made it three-out-of-three in the Master Class category of the Formula 3 UAE races as the series made its debut in the Middle East. Hamda, meanwhile, bounced back from earlier setbacks to storm to two second place finishes in Formula 4 UAE races.

Khaled topped races ahead of Zen Motorsport's Paul Wong and BlackArts Racing's Thomas Luedi. The prolific in GT circuit racer enjoyed his outing in single seater.

"It's a great car. I wish I had started in single-seaters than GT racing. This is much more fun and there's lot to learn in it," he told Khaleej Times.

Khaled finds inspiration to stay competitive by participating in as many races as possible.

"It's very demanding but the more races I do, the more it forces me to stay fit."

Khaled's Master Class is a combined race with the Championship, which is filled with teenagers.

"The youngest on the track maybe 17 year-old but these are the best from around the world. When am racing among them, my goal is to be in touch with guys in the front. It's so much fun to be able to stay with them. These young guys keep me young."

Khaled is proud of his daughters - Hamda and Amna, who earlier won her race in Dubai.

"Hamda will get race experience as she goes forward and get better," the father added.

Hamda, who was on the pole of all four races, overcame blips of first two with success in the rest. She overtook quite a bit of traffic to secure podium finish in final race of the day.

"After getting pushed in Race 1 and 2, it got me really mad. I used my anger to my advantage in Race 3 and 4, and pushed my limits. In Race, 3 I didn't had a very good start but finished on the podium. Then in Race 4, I started fifth (with reverse grid). There was bit of a chaos at the start with so many overtaking. But lap by lap, I got through each and at the end finished P2."

In the final laps of the race, Hamda was catching up eventual winner Nico Gohler.

"If I had few more laps, I would have got the first place but I am happy and for the team too."

Hamda relishes the competitive field. "It's so fun with overtaking others. The drivers competing here are very strong. It's tough but if there is no competition then there is no experience and learning," said the New York University Abu Dhabi student who is able to balance studies and sports.

"I have good support from the university," she said.

Hamda now hopes to continue her form. "I hope for a win and more podiums."

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