Muscat: Omani star Shihab Al Habsi came up with a sensational performance but missed out on a podium place by a whisker in the CIK-FIA World Championships at Paul Fletcher International Circuit in the United Kingdom on Sunday.
Taking part in the OK Junior category of the CIK-FIA Junior World Championships, Shihab Al Habsi qualified for the final race in the 15th place and started on Grid 8.
But the Omani lad, driving like a seasoned racer and overtook one competitor after another in every lap of the 19-lap final but could not stop Dexter Patterson from leading a British sweep of the top three places.
Showing great driving and overtaking skills, Shihab gained 10 places by the 15th lap. And in the next lap, the Omani gained another place to behind the leading drivers, including Dexter Patterson.
However, Msport Karting’s Omani driver, who had the best lap time of 57.128 seconds, could not accelerate further and had to settle for the fourth place, finishing 7.829 seconds behind the eventual winner Dexter Patterson.
While Patterson, whose had the best lap time of 56.888 seconds, took the top honours, his Forza Racing teammate Christopher Lulham finished 0.106 seconds behind to win the second place.
Their compatriot Harry Thompson of Ricky Flynn Motorsport, finishing 3.738 seconds behind, settled for the third place.
On the eve of the final race, Shihab Al Habsi promised to give his best and achieve a positive result.
“My aim is to achieve positive result and to reach the leading position,” Shihab had said.
And on Sunday, Shihab lived up to that promise and came up with excellent performances in the qualifying races as well as in the final race.
But despite a sensational race, Shihab narrowly missed the podium finish.
And as he said ahead of the race, the young Omani talent can now look forward to the future international competitions with confidence and optimism.