SEPANG CIRCUIT (MALAYSIA): Young Indian racer Shahan Ali Mohsin created history by becoming the first Indian racer to win the Asian Karting Champion Championship.
The 12-year-old displayed a valiant performance during the final weekend after missing two days of track time due to a bout of food poisoning and staved off a strong challenge from his main Hayden Haikal to clinch the title.
The Agra lad will be now hoping for a repeat closer home in the JK Tyre National Rotax Max Karting Championship as well, with the final round scheduled on September 25.
Shahan was not completely fit as he fought the infection which surfaced early on Thursday. He was severely dehydrated and the situation continued to worsen and his participation in the event became a major question while his rivals pounded the track throughout Thursday and Friday during practice sessions.
Shahan showed immense determination and hit the tracks on Saturday, even though he did not recover properly and right from the first practice session, he was in the mix for the top three spots albeit missing a few tenths from outright benchmark.
However, he almost magically put it together in qualifying – taking pole position by over two-tenths of a second (0.2 sec) – a dominating showing given the drivers from 2nd to 5th position were separated by just five-hundredth of a second (0.05 sec).
"It is really unbelievable. I was in a seriously bad shape just two days back and could not even think of driving a kart, let alone fight for the Asian Championship title," said
Shahan, who is supported by Park Exports, Sakura, Dawar and Jas Exports.
"The strength I got from having both my parents alongside me throughout was incredible and I still do not know how I managed to walk, get into the kart and get pole position in qualifying.
"I surprised even myself a little bit. Everything after that was a blur and thanks to Wai Leong and the entire Top Kart team for a superb setup and excellent strategy which helped us secure the title with the least amount of risk," he added.