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Gritty fourth place finish for Shahan at Rotax Grand Festival Austria

Qualified fifth for the pre-finals and started finals from 3rdplace

·        Dropped to 7thinitially before fighting his way back up to fourth place

13 August 2017 (Speedworld, Austria):Reigning Asian Karting Champion and two-time Indian National Champion racer Shahan Ali Mohsin put up a strong performance in Rotax Grand Festival 2017 to clinch 4th place overall after a tough fight which saw him finish on the podium in the pre-finals.

Shahan was driving in the Mini Max category which comprised of no less than 26 drivers from all corners of the world, including USA, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia; with Shahan being the sole Indian representative. Driving in the colours of Uniq Racing Team – with whom he had competed before, the 13-year old Indian showed strong top 10 pace during practice sessions early on in the weekend.    

After finishing 9th in qualifying, Shahan knew he had work to do to get to the front end of the grid and he managed to do just that –finishing consistently in the three heat races that followed. The consistency paid off and he managed to line up fifth on the grid for the all-important pre-finals.

The pre-finals started well as the 13-year old from Agra managed to aggressively gain one place at the start and then went on to grab P3 with a decisive move on Filip Jenic which ended up being dubbed as the ‘move of the weekend’. From thereon, Shahan just put his head down and despite immense pressure from the Austrian, crossed the line in third place.

Starting third for the finale, Shahan’s chances were looking good and it was clear that it would be an all-or-nothing bid for the lead once the green flag was waved. However, some drivers ended up being over-aggressive and the race was red-flagged on lap one, and restarted only 20 minutes later.

At the start, Shahan wasted no time getting down to business. He managed to pass second place starter Suleiman Zanfari from Morocco straightaway and was hot on the heels of race leader Maximillian Tarillion from Argentina. However, a small mistake which saw Shahan slide wide slightly later on in the lap proved to be his undoing, as he lost five places in under less than five seconds – ending up P7.

Despite being disappointed and disheartened, Shahan didn’t give up and knew that with close battles up ahead and plenty of laps to go, there was an opportunity of moving up the pack and eventually he managed to do just that. He gradually picked off his rivals ahead one by one and climbed up to P4 – but then just ran out of laps to make any further progress even though he finished less than half a second behind third place finisher Marius Kristiansen.

“It is hard not to be disappointed after pace we showed in the pre-final and the finals because we were surely in hunt for the victory, nothing less. Despite the recovery, it feels like something had been taken away from us”, remarked Shahan.

“We were the first finisher with the long chassis setup with 1-2-3 place finishers driving a short chassis. For sure there was some advantage for the short chassis in the quick chicanes where a fast direction change was needed; so classifying them together may have been slightly unfair. Any case, it is done and dusted so we’re already looking forward to our next outing now”, he added.

Shahan is supported by “AFMEC, Farida Group, Alina Leather and Sakura Air Conditioners.

Rotax Grand Finale 2017

POS.          NAME                          NATIONALITY             TOTAL TIME

1.       Maximilian Tarillion              Argentina                   12:57.582

2.      Suleiman Zanfari                   Morocco                     12:59.363

3.      Marius Kristiansen                Denmark                     13:04.943

4.     Shahan Ali Mohsin                India                           13:05.621

5.      Filip Jenic                               Austria                        13:05.736


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