Oman’s Shonal steals the show in Dubai

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

Times News Ser­vice

MUS­CAT: Oman go-kart­ing driver Shonal Ku­ni­mal once again proved too strong for his fel­low com­peti­tors by win­ning the sec­ond round of the Dubai Bam­bino Cup held at the Dubai Kart­drome on Satur­day.

In the pre­vi­ous round, Shonal and An­thony Joe Khalil grap­pled in a close con­test, with Shonal win­ning the last two out of four time-tri­als claim over­all vic­tory.

In round two Shonal con­tin­ued where he left off, el­e­vat­ing his level of driv­ing and leav­ing the rest of the pack be­hind.

He be­gan the day in fine form, clock­ing in at 1:20.458 in the first time-trial — the only driver to dip below the 1:22 mark. An­thony Joe Khalil trailed be­hind with a best lap time of 1:22.495.

Shonal upped the ante when the other driv­ers start­ing to im­prove their times. He knocked out a 1:19.939 in time-trial two to beat out Len­nard Tit­ica and then a 1:19.707 to win the next time trial as well. Len­nard was only 0.447 off the mark with a best lap of 1:20.154, but he still had to set­tle for an­other sec­ond-place fin­ish. In the last time-trial Shonal had reg­is­tered a scorch­ing 1:19.598 lap time to fin­ish the day.

Four-from-four and all 200 avail­able points earned Shonal Ku­ni­mal the Round Two win­ner’s tro­phy and a boost of con­fi­dence go­ing in the next round. Len­nard Tit­ica se­cured sec­ond-place on 167 points and An­thony Joe Khalil claimed third with 162 points.

The driver from Oman has proven that he is now the driver to beat if any­one as­pires to win the 20182019 cham­pi­onship. An­thony Joe Khalil, Leonidas Peruzzi, Ka­reem Azzi and Ni­cholas Kimi Stura are all in con­tention; which driver will step up and chal­lenge Shonal in the next round?

Dubai Kart­drome Man­ager David Bright said, “Congratulations to Shonal for an im­pres­sive tri­umph to­day. I was also happy to see all of the driv­ers on the grid im­prov­ing their lap times as the day pro­gressed. Well done!”

Dur­ing the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony Shonal said “His main worry was his den­tal trauma, I would like to thank the Oman-based Dr. Ajay Narayan who fixed Shonal’s com­pli­cated mul­ti­ple tooth in­fec­tion, which was caus­ing him high fever and pain. Doc­tor’s plan, sched­ule and amaz­ing work was ex­cel­lent, in-be­tween the non-race days and weeks to com­plete all my den­tal trauma with­out ef­fect­ing any of the cur­rent or up­com­ing races.”

Shonal even thanked WMS (Al Wa­haibi Mo­tor Sports) for sup­port­ing him for all IAME series and to Coach Sanad Al Rawahi who is for­mer Oman’s go-kart­ing star. Shonal’s next race will be the third round of the IAME X30 Series in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, on Novem­ber 23 and also Ro­tax Max Chal­lenge third round on Novem­ber 16 at Al For­san, UAE.

– Sup­plied Photo

UN­STOP­PABLE: First place Shonal Ku­ni­mal flanked by run­ner-up Len­nard Tit­ica and third place An­thony Joe Khalil.

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