How Indians performed over the weekend (October 13-15)
Aditya Patel and Mahindra’s Moto3 arm put on a thoroughly impressive show last weekend, while F1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala endured a somewhat off-colour outing. We round-up their performance…
Best result: Win
Aditya Patel lost out the inaugural Blancpain GT Asia title by a solitary point, despite a dominant double win in the season finale in China.
Patel started Race 1 from front row of the grid and took little time to overtake polesitter Christopher Dreyspring (#66 Lamborghini) once the Safety Car had retreated. With none of his rivals able to put on a counter challenge, he cruised to his second win of the season.
In Race 2, Patel’s OD Racing teammate Mitch Gilbert lost the lead after running wide at turn 1. However, the race would come back to the Indo-Australian duo after the leading #18 Audi spun in the final 10 mins, gifting them an easy win.
Despite back-to-back wins, Patel and Gilbert had to settle for second spot in the championship as a fourth place finish was enough for the #99 Mercedes of Hunter Abbott to clinch the title.
Photo by: GT Asia Series
Best result: Third
Mahindra scored their first podium of the 2017 Moto3 season at Japan’s Motegi Circuit, with customer CIP squad’s Marco Bezzecchi finishing third in a shortened and a wet race.
Bezzecchi qualified on the second row of the grid, leading the foundation to Mahindra’s first rostrum result since last year’s Malaysian GP.
After an initial tussle with Honda’s Enea Bastianini, the Italian was able to clear Tatsuki Suzuki on lap six to finish a career-best third.
Peugeot’s Jakub Kornfeil brought more delight for the Indian manufacturer with a charging drive from 20th to eighth.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Best result: Fifth
Jehan Daruvala secured a best result of fifth in the final round of the European F3 season at Hockenheim (Germany).
Daruvala started the weekend’s opening race from fourth on the grid, but slipped behind Carlin teammate Ferdinand Habsburg early on. He later piled pressure on Prema’s Callum Ilott to get back to fourth, but was never really in a position to make a move.
Race 2 turned out to be tougher due to a poor starting position of 11th. And although he immediately passed Ralf Aron and gained another position when Habsburg suffered a puncture, there was little he could do to finish higher than ninth.
Things failed to improve in the last race of the year, where the Mumbaikar was forced to pit in the opening laps. With a major chunk of time lost in what is essentially a sprint race, he finished a lap down in 20th.
However, thanks to an otherwise consistent campaign, the Force India junior was able to retain sixth position in the drivers standings and second in the rookies class.
Photo by: FIA F3 / Suer
National Girls category riders Rehana Reya and Kalyani Potekar represented India in the second round of Asia Cup of Road Racing in Taiwan.
The female duo, who were a part of the FMSCI Team India, finished third in the race.
Photo by: Vivek Phadnis
Zhejiang Blancpain: Patel misses title despite double win
2017 in review [Part 2]: Indian sportscar drivers
Triple Eight will return to the GT World Challenge Asia series this season.
Supercars ace Shane van Gisbergen will make his Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia debut for Triple Eight at Suzuka this weekend.
Crack Supercars squad Triple Eight Race Engineering has announced that it will field a Mercedes in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia.
Sportscar racing remains a hot alternative for Indian drivers, with a handful of them having raced in Asia or Europe in 2018.