Shahan creates history at Sepang

Shahan Ali Mohsin of India scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win an Asian title when he clinched the honours in the Asian karting championship in the Micro Max category (eight to 12 years) in Sepang circuit, in Malaysia on Sunday evening.

Asian karting championship

The 12-year-old Shahan, who hails from Agra though his mother is a Hyderabadi, thwarted the challenge of arch-rival Hayden Haikal after recovering from food poisoning.   -  special arrangement

Shahan Ali Mohsin of India scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win an Asian title when he clinched the honours in the Asian karting championship in the Micro Max category (eight to 12 years) in Sepang circuit, in Malaysia on Sunday evening.

The 12-year-old Shahan, who hails from Agra though his mother is a Hyderabadi, thwarted the challenge of arch-rival Hayden Haikal after a dramatic recovery from a massive bout of food poisoning which forced him to miss two full days of track time.

Warding off fitness problems which also included infection which surfaced early on Thursday, Shahan showed great fighting spirit to dominate the event.

Taking a two-day break, Shahan showed his skills right from practice one though and was in the mix for the top three spots - missing a few tenths from outright benchmark.

Then, the gifted youngster was equal to the task in the qualifying rounds – taking pole position by over two-tenths of a second – a dominating showing given the drivers from second to fifth position were separated by just five- hundredth of a second.

For the record, Shahan entered the Asian meet leading the Micro Max championship table by a five-point margin to his title-rival Hayden Haikal. So, the focus was to have a clean weekend with no risks and no surprises to finish ahead of Hayden in all sessions possible which included two heat races, a pre-final and the final.

With the title set to go down the wire, Shahan just about held his advantage – but this time it was a three-way fight all the way through from first to the last lap.

Amer, Hayden and Shahan were in the thick of it, rubbing bumpers with places being switched between the two championship contenders while Amer led at the front but not far away.

Eventually Shahan settled for third with Hayden finishing second this time around; with the top three finishing within 0.2 seconds.

Numbers were crunched with bated breath and at the end of it – Shahan emerged four points ahead thanks to his consistent performance over the weekend as the 2016 Asia Max Karting Champion.

“It is unbelievable really – it is yet to sink in but I was in seriously bad shape just two days back and couldn’t even think of driving a kart, let alone fight for the Asian Championship title,” said a delighted Shahan later.

“The strength I got from having both my parents alongside me throughout was incredible and I still don’t 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,” the champion remarked.

The 12-year old now hopes for a repeat closer home in the JK Tyre National Rotax Max Karting Championship as well, where he is leading the Micro Max championship standings with the final round scheduled for September 25.

Shahan is supported by Park Exports, Sakura, Dawar and Jas Exports.

Final placings:

2016 KRS-KKS Asia Max Challenge: Micro Max (8-12 years): 1. Shahan Ali Mohsin (Ind), 2. Hayden Haikal (Mas), 3. Oscar Ng (Mas).