Shonal’s excellent run continues

Sports Monday 24/January/2022 19:37 PM
By: Times News Service
Shonal’s excellent run continues

Muscat: Shonal Kunimal’s excellent run this season continues as the ten-year-old Muscat-based go-karting racer claimed a creditable runner-up finish in micro-max category of the highly-competitive 2022 Dubai O’Plate Championship that concluded at the Dubai Kartdrome on Sunday.

The championship features some of the best racers in the region and Shonal, who finished second in the recent fourth round of the the UAE Rotax Max Championship Series, proved that he is one of the in-form racers.

A former champion (Bambino class) in the Dubai O’Plate race, Shonal had a consistent run in the three heats, pre-final and the final race. The Indian School Ghubra fifth grade student was second in all but one race and finished behind Greek racer Leonidas Peruzzi.

Lebanon’s Jayden Hidding came third to complete the podium.

It was a gritty comeback by Shonal, who was pushed to third place in the pre-finals but displaying good speed and track sense, he fought back to claim the second spot, the second podium finish in recent weeks.

Shonal has had good memories of the Dubai O’Plate, having won the Bambino class title in 2019, and was determined to do a repeat but according to him ‘technical hiccups’ stalled his progress for the win.

“I would have wished to win the race as I did in 2019 but I experienced problems with my kart and that proved to be a stumbling block in my bid to repeat the win. It was a tough grid with some of the best racers in the region lined up. I am glad that I could get my second straight podium finish in the past two races,” said Shonal.

Mentored by former Oman international Sanad al Rawahi, Shonal expressed thanks to his coach Sanad and his dad, Shojai Kunimal, for their strong support.

“I owe a lot to my father and my mentor along with my technical team of Carlo John Bariquit and Mark Rose,” he added.

Shonal believes that he has in him to ‘win races regularly’ but need a bit of luck and strong corporate support to back his ambition to become a top-class go-karting champion.

The senior Kunimal was all praise for the support of Oman Automobile Association (OAA) managing director Suleiman al Rawahi.