How Indians performed over the weekend (August 11-13)
Apart from Gaurav Gill and Shahan Ali Mohsin, Indian racers and manufacturers put on a largely disappointing show on the weekend of August 11-13.
Gaurav Gill (APRC Malaysia)
Photo by: Anand Philar
After a driver error and a technical problem that left him trailing down in third place, India’s top rallyist Gill put an emphatic fightback on Sunday in the Malaysian round of APRC.
The 35-year-old topped all stages in Leg 2 to improve to second place and finish less than five minutes behind MRF teammate and winner Ole Christian Veiby.
It was an impressive display of speed from the two-time APRC champion, who claimed to be driving at “110%” to make up for the Saturday deficit.
Shahan Ali Mohsin (Rotax Grand Festival Austria)
Photo by: Shahan Racing
Rising Indian karter and former Asian karting champion Shahan Ali Mohsin had a successful outing in the Rotax Grand Festival in Austria.
Competing in the Mini Max category along with 25 other karters, Mohsin finished on the podium in pre-finals before rounding off the weekend with a fourth place finish in the final race.
The Uniq Racing Team karter initially jumped to third at the restart, before dropping down to sixth with a slight mistake on lap 1.
The Agra-based karter then put on a fantastic recovery drive, overtaking Lotus’ Filip Jenic on the final lap to seal the fourth spot.
Mahindra (Moto3 Austria)
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Best result: 19th
Mahindra returned empty handed from the most recent Moto3 round in Austria, with CIP rider Manuel Pagliani leading the charge for the Indian manufacturer in 19th.
With Red Bull Ring placing more emphasis on straight line speed and acceleration over cornering abilities, the Spielberg race was always going to be difficult for Mahindra.
Moreover, factory-supported Aspar riders were unlucky with accidents; Lorenzo Dalla Porta was steadily running in 16th place when he was taken out by a rival rider on lap 3, while Albert Arenas made contact on the final lap.
KY Ahamed (ARRC Suzuki Asia Challenge Indonesia)
Photo by: ARRC
Best result: seventh
KY Ahamed was the most impressive Indian rider in the Indonesian round of Asia Road Racing Championship, scoring a double podium finish in the Suzuki Asia Challenge races.
In Saturday’s opening race, Ahamed made a rocketing start from 11th on the grid to jump up to fifth place. A few laps later, he took the race lead briefly, before being shuffled down the order due to the high slipstream effect.
On the final tour, several riders crashed out, forcing others to take avoiding action. Ahamed was unlucky to be caught in the melee and ended up a disappointing 10th.
The second race was a similar story, with Ahamed making an equally stellar start to move up to sixth. He led the race for a few corners on the final lap, but a late change of positions demoted him down to seventh.
Sanjay Takale (APRC Malaysia)
Photo by: APRC
Sanjay Takale returned to APRC for the first time since last year’s season finale in India.
Equipped with a contemporary Mitsubishi Mirage AP4 as compared to the ageing Subaru Impreza which he raced last year, Takale finished sixth overall in Malaysia.
The veteran rallyist completed the two legs in 4h55m40.5s to comfortably edge one of his two teammates Robert Blomberg.
Sarath Kumar (ARRC Supersport 600cc Indonesia)
Photo by: ARRC
Best result: 17th
Sarath Kumar failed to capture the public imagination in Supersport 600cc, which is the flagship category in the Asia Road Racing Championship.
In a field comprising of former MotoGP and Moto2 riders, Sarath finished 17th in both races. Having scored points in each round so far, Indonesia marked the lowest point of the year for the former MotoGP-supporting 125cc championship rider.
Rajiv Sethu (ARRC Asia Production 250cc Indonesia)
Photo by: ARRC
Best result: 23rd
Rajiv Sethu’s difficult campaign in the Asia Production 250cc class continued at the Sentul International Circuit, with the Honda-backed rider unable to end his points duck.
Sethu, who was particularly impressive last year in the Asia Dream Cup, finished the weekend’s two races in the 23rd and 27th places respectively.
PG Abhilash (APRC Malaysia)
Photo by: Würth
Result: DNFPG Abhilash suffered his first DNF of the APRC season in Malaysia. The gearbox differential on Abhilash’s Subaru Impreza broke on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t be fixed in time for the second leg, forcing him to watch the remainder of the rally from the sidelines.
Until that point he had looked strong to take a top-five finish.
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