‘Shihab deserved to be on podium’

Oman’s rising karting star Shihab al Habsi’s father Ahmed feels his talented son completely deserved to be on the podium after his near miss in the CIK-FIA World Championships. Shihab had come up with a brilliant performance at the Paul Fletcher International Circuit when he overtook competitors in each of the laps in the 19-lap final. However, Dexter Patterson ensured that there was a British sweep in the final as he edged out Shihab.

“Shihab’s performance has really improved. He is very talented and he is improving race by race. All the people who saw his performance were really impressed. He deserved to be on the podium,’’ Ahmed said.
Ahmed also hoped that they would find a good sponsor as Shihab’s performance goes from strength to strength.
“I hope we can get a good sponsor as Shihab’s performance improves further and he takes podium places regularly. It is very important for us as you know motor sports is a very expensive sport,’’ he added.
The 13-year-old qualified for the final of the OK Junior category in the 15th place and started on Grid 8.
Shihab was in top form as he set the track on fire with his blazing skills when he jumped 10 places at the end of the 15th lap.
The young lad gained another place by the 16th lap and was tailing the top three racers including Patterson.
Shihab had a best lap time of 57.128 seconds but he struggled with further acceleration and manoeuvres to finish fourth behind the three British drivers.
Patterson took the top honours followed by Christopher Lulham, who was 0.106 seconds behind while Harry Thompson was 3.738 seconds behind at third place.
On his return, Shihab was given an official reception at Muscat International Airport with the presence of Fahad Abdullah Al Raeisi, Director-General of Welfare and Development at the Ministry of Sport Affairs, Hamza Haidruz, Director of Relations and Media, a representative from Dhofar Automotive and some officials at the ministry.

HARIDEV PUSHPARAJ