Zahrat Al Khaleej – Rakan Al-Rashed: “Rallyes” are the reason for my success in entrepreneurship


The rally manager and Saudi businessman, Rakan Al-Rashed, has written a great success story that deserves appreciation and encouragement, especially because he has achieved many honorable achievements in a sport that requires a lot of determination, strength, challenges and fast decisions- to win. During his participation in many championships, Al-Rashed has won many international awards, and the professional rally driver hopes to achieve one of the top five places in the World Rally Championship, Class Two, with the help of his own team of 7 people. , and to become an inspiration to the next generation of motorsport drivers in the Kingdom and the Middle East.

In addition to his professional racing career, Al-Rashed holds a Bachelor of Finance degree from Al-Faisal University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is also a co-founder and director of Access Bridge Ventures, a leading venture capital fund, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Kudu Corp., the leading restaurant chain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In his interview with Zahrat Al Khaleej, Al-Rashed shed light on his passion, his heroic journey and what he aspires to in the future:

• How was your start in the world of rally cars?

Ever since I was young, I loved the field of cars, and the topic developed day by day, and I started collecting magazines and newspapers that talk about rallies and car racing. Because of my work in the field of entrepreneurship, I was invited by motor rally specialists in Finland, where rally cars are an important sport, and they have a lot of experience and skill, to try to practice rally driving, and that was the starting point in 2012. Then in 2015, It was my first participation in the Middle East Rally Championship in Dubai.

ancient championship

• How did the competition become today after this participation?

The cost of the Middle East Rally Championship is somewhat high, and the returns in terms of media coverage and ease of logistical movement are considered difficult issues. So I had to go to Europe; To participate in the World Championship, as well as the freedom of choice to participate in the World Championship, European Championship or local championships in different countries. Of course, the material cost is lower; That is why we – Arab Rally Managers – need the support and motivation of the relevant authorities; So that we can participate in the Middle East Rally Championship, that coveted championship, which needs more focus and attention; to excel in it.

• Are you satisfied with the local competitions and races in the Kingdom?

The car rally in the Kingdom requires greater efforts; To have a strong presence on the scene, and me and others can participate in it, especially since the desert rally is only present in the Kingdom.

• What is the difference between a global rally car and a desert rally?

Desert rallies open roads with points, another method of navigation, as well as the type of car too, which is completely different from the normal rallies with flat roads, which by nature require less powerful cars.

• What is the importance of local races and competitions for riders?

Local racing is very important to hone the talents of local riders, and increase the level of their skills. Of course, the development of training sites will help to discover talent, in addition to the financial return, which will benefit everyone, after more jobs have been created for everyone, motivated people to open workshops and training schools, and prepared sports cars for the races.

traffic barriers

• What challenges do you usually face when traveling to a new location in a rally championship?

The difficulty often lies in how to adapt to new paths I have not walked before, and the obstacles I may encounter in them, in addition to the challenges we may encounter due to sudden malfunctions.

• In your opinion, who is the outstanding rally driver? How can he maintain his distinction?

The rally driver must learn how to read the road, and know it well, and can cross it as quickly as possible, and this is what distinguishes the fast driver from others, and he must continue to practice twice a week, in addition to the need to maintain his weight and physical fitness continuously.

• What type of car do you use, and what was the most difficult situation you were in?

Sign up for rally racing with a Volkswagen Polo, an equipped car I bought from Europe; To take part in the World Rally Championship races. One of the hardest situations, he was in one of the races, and the car overturned over me several times, and then I had to get over the negative thinking about the possibility of an accident, but the accident increased my passion, and I was able to overcome it, especially since the reflection on this subject weakens the character of the rally manager, and diminishes his enthusiasm.

follow passion

• What has the world of rally cars added to you?

Rallying has taught me many things that have benefited me in my personal life, including the importance of following passion in all matters of my life, as well as learning the skill to handle human patterns of different nationalities, and the speed of decision-making; Because this is an area that involves many challenges; The rally manager must have a strong personality, think and act wisely at all times, and this has greatly benefited me in my field of work, and has been one of the reasons for my success in the field of entrepreneurship.

weak posts

• Are you satisfied with the presence of Saudi women in the field of rally cars?

I think Saudi women are already present in many sports fields, including car racing, but we need more female participation, and this applies not only to the Kingdom but to Arab women in general, especially as female participation is still weak, even in Europe, women often participate as navigators, but not as drivers.

• What are your future ambitions, which have not yet been achieved?

– I hope to put my experience into practice, to train people who want to be rally managers, and to pass on my experience to them; Until they reach the circle of professionalism.

Endurance .. and speed

Rally is a type of motor racing, which is endurance and speed racing, and includes several phases. Participants at the end of each get a number of points. Rally races are usually held on public roads that are open to normal traffic during the race, and some of these roads are slippery in winter, wet or covered with snow. It is also sometimes held on some roads, which are closed to normal traffic during the race, and the results of all phases are collected at the end.

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