2018-19 UAE Rotax Max Challenge Series: Shonal achieves hat-trick of wins

December 18, 2018

Shonal Kunimal (centre) lifts the trophy aloft as he is flanked by other winners at the Al Ain Raceway in UAE

The winning rhythm keeps on bringing laurels for the seven year old Shonal Kunimal. The Muscat-based go-karting youngster is in red-hot form, winning race after race.

And the recent fourth round of UAE Rotax Max Challenge Series, held at the Al Ain Raceway last week, fetched him one more title, his third in succession in the series.

The Indian School Ghubra-International (ISG-I) student finished on top in the bambino (five-eight years old) category. It was the eighth title of the season for Shonal, who is competing in three events – IAME X30 Series, Dubai Bambino Cup and Rotax Max Challenge. He has so far raced in nine races and except for one runner-up finish, Shonal has managed to be on top at each of the outings - three in IAME X30 Series, two in Dubai Bambino Cup and three in Rotax Max.

In the Rotax Max Challenge series, Shonal has been in dominating form as he achieved titles in the last three rounds.

In the fourth round at the 1.6km Al Ain Raceway track, Shonal competed over two days.

Each day had three time-trails and Shonal’s performance in the six time-trials included the fastest time-lap of 1:33.124sec on the first day.

Coached by former Oman go-karting champion Sanad al Rawahi, Shonal swept the first three races on the first day but on the next day, he had to battle fever and after a win in the fourth time-trial, he had to settle for fourth-place in the last two time-trials. However, the wins in the first four time-trials was enough for him to emerge winner of the fourth round with 113 points.

Greek driver Leonidas Peruzzi came second with 111 while British driver Zak Sowerby was third with 108 as he won the last time-trial to edge another Muscat-based racer Adam Awan, who was second in the first two races and had two third-place finishes in the six races for 108 points.

In his post-race remarks, Shonal thanked Suleiman al Rawahi, managing director of the Oman Automobile Association, for his strong support.