After his success in securing the 2005 Thunder Arabia Formula Ford Championship Title, young Raed Raffii, the 16 Years Bahraini Champion is now on his way to the International World of Motorsport.
Raed tested on Saturday and Sunday in the Formula BMW Race car with Meritus Team, and was witnessed by Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansel, and GP2 Driver Bruce, where he proved to be a real talent.
Raed in his first test in the Formula BMW car managed to go around the same track used for the FBMW world finals, in just under 2 seconds from the time of the World final Winner.
â€œFor a young driver to overcome the fear of a new car, and be able to master it after only 20 laps, and manage to achieve a time of 1:29.168, only 2 seconds behind the Formula BMW world final winner, is a remarkable achievement, and I am sure given more time to practice on the car, Raed will manage to get the BMW World Final Winner Best Lap Timeâ€ Said Bruce the French GP2 Driver who coached Raed during the Test.
“What Thunder Arabia are doing now in the Middle East, in terms of placing young drivers such as Raed at the age of 16, to the International world of motorsport, will definitely have a very positive impact on motorsport in the Middle East” Said Hassan El Wardany, Thunder Arabia Chief Executive Officer.
â€œIt is nice to see a young Bahraini testing at the same time and on the same cars as my own sons, this is the way to start building champions at the young ageâ€ Said Nigel Mansel Formula 1 World Champion.
â€œRaed will be the first Bahraini Driver to start competing in Europe at the age of 16, as we believe Europe is the right place to go, in order for the driver to reach the level required to be an International Driver, and we all believe that Raed has the talent and the ability of raising the Kingdomâ€™s flag on the International Level, as he will be competing in the Formula Renault in Belgium and the UK throughout the season of 2006â€ said Sherif Al Mahdy, Thunder Arabia Marketing Director.
â€œWe would like to thank Bahrain International Circuit management for allowing Raed to have his first test on the circuit, by organising the Formula BMW World Final, which showed our young drivers the competitiveness of the young drivers in Europe, so they can be prepared to what they will go against, once they cross the regional borderâ€ Said Mohammed Hussein, Thunder Arabia Communication Director.
As for Raed, he was really happy and commented saying: â€œI could not believe that I am testing on the same cars as the formula 1 world champion sons, and at first it took me sometime to get used to the car, but after some time I got the hang of it, and was able to go fast, but the track conditions did not allow me to go as fast as I could.
I really thank Thunder Arabia for giving this chance and their trust , I also would like to thank my teammates in Bahrain Young Guns Team, my family and all my friends for their support and I promises everyone that I will do whatever I could to raise my countryâ€™s flag anywhere I goâ€
Hassan Al Wardany confirmed that â€œsuch a step with Raed will pave the way for many other young drivers from all over the Middle East to follow his steps, and I am not revealing a secret when I say that we are preparing for similar plans for other young talents from Bahrain , Jordan , Egypt and KSA in our search for the first Arab Formula 1 Driverâ€