Shonal on the brink of championship glory

Shonal Kunimal with the trophy after the win in Dubai on Friday

Muscat-based go-karting champion Shonal Kunimal moved closer to a clean sweep in the Bambino class of the 2018-19 IAME X30 UAE Series with his latest win in the penultimate round at the Dubai Kartdrome in Dubai, UAE, on Friday.

It was the fifth successive round victory for the seven year old Indian School Ghubra (ISG) student, whose dominance in the class had him top all the three time-trials.

So far Shonal has won all the time-trials (15) except one across the five rounds and with a total of 725 points, he is all set for the championship glory when the sixth and final round is held at Ras al Khaimah on April 19.

Italian Nicholas Stutra is second in the championship standings with 653 points while the third-placed Mohammed al Qassemi has 520 points.

It was also the 18th race win for Shonal, who is competing in three series this season.

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Shonal gets ready to compete in the IAME X 30 UAE Series

On Friday, Shonal recorded lap time of 1m:14.638s and was followed by Lennard Titica of Romania (1m:15.334s) and Nicholas (1m:16.372s). In the next race, Shonal improved his laptime to win in 1m:14.446s and then clocked 1m:14.964s  in the third time-trial to grab the top spot.

Shonal's IAME X30 series campaign is backed by Al Wahaibi Motor Sports (WMS) and GPX Academy and the young racing talent is coached by former Oman go-karting champion Sanad al Rawahi.

The latest exploits put Shonal in line for a grand treble as he leads the overall championship of all the three series - IAME X30-UAE, UAE Rotax Max Challenge and Dubai Bambino Cup.

Shonal's next race will be the final round of the Rotax Max on March 29-30. In the seven rounds, Shonal has had five wins and two runner-up finishes.

The Rotax Max Challenge is most closely-fought series with Shonal battling out with fellow Muscat-based racer, Adam Awan. After seven rounds Shonal leads the standings with 578 points while  Adam has 563.

In the Dubai Bambino Cup, which concludes on April 6, Shonal has won all the four previous rounds. The youngster has garnered so far 200 points while Nicholas is second with 158 and Anthony Joe Khalil is third with 150.

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