Shah Alam, 20 Sept. 2015: Eleven-year old Indian karting talent, Shahan Ali Mohsin clinched a dominating win at Round 6 of the 2015 Rotax Max Asia Challenge at the Shah Alam International Kart Circuit here in Malaysia. The wonder kid from Agra came out in flying colours in the Micro Max class.
Competing in the Micro Max, a category for karters between 8 and 12 years, which saw Asia’s top karting racers in action, Shahan braved several issues early-on in the weekend to reign supreme on Sunday. He finished the pre-finals in second place having started P13, and went one better in the finals to stand on the top step of the podium, winning by a margin of 0.648 seconds.
“It is a really special day, a memorable one for me with my first win in Asia. The best part was that it was fair and square, there was no luck or freak incidents, just a clean run from the back of the grid to the top of the podium”, remarked an elated, emotional Shahan.
“There were lots of ups and downs through the season and then we missed the previous round so this win makes up for it somewhat. We all wished it would have come a bit sooner, but nevertheless I am really happy to sign off the Asian season on a winning note”, he added.
Shahan’s weekend didn’t start off too well, and come qualifying he was only 14th out of 19 karters. There wasn’t much progress in the incident-filled Heats either, he finished 10th and 14th in the two heats respectively.
Shahan’s iS Racing team worked hard overnight to sort out the setup, and during the Sunday morning warm-up, things looked better as he was third and Shahan felt more comfortable.
Nevertheless, he still had an uphill task ahead, coming from the back is never easy in karting grids as there are high chances of incidents in the mid-pack, often featuring innocent victims who get collected in the melee.
Starting 13th for the prefinal, Shahan remained cautious on the opening lap, keeping his nose out of trouble. The next 15 laps were a master class in precise yet aggressive race-craft as the 11-year old made his way up the grid. Clean, confident and ensuring that every move he made stuck, Shahan was in top five by the end of lap 9. The podium was clearly in reach but the progress was now slower, and it took Shahan the remaining five laps to clinch the second spot. It was impressive feat nevertheless, with Shahan unsurprisingly posting the fastest lap of the race.
Starting on the front-row for the finals, victory was clearly in reach but it was definitely not going to be easy to overhaul his iS Racing teammate Putera Adam – the defending Micro Max Champion. As the green flag was waved, a close battle ensued and only after four laps did Shahan managed to break away from Putera and establish a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish to the chequered flag.
“I think it is the best day of my racing career so far, given the odds we had this morning and how everything turned around in a span of a few hours. I am really thankful for iS Racing throughout and of course to my parents for having supported me through a gruelling season”, said Shahan.
“We are still working on our plans for next year but whatever happens, I will take a lot of learning from this year into the future as well as into our campaign back at home in the JK Tyre Rotax National Championship”, he added.
Shahan is currently leading the Micro Max standings in the 2015 JK Tyre National Championship as well, with Round 4 scheduled on 26-27 September at Meco Kartopia, Bangalore.