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31/07/2016

Birel ART India on The Podium in Rd 3 of The JK Tyre Rotax Champ

Birel ART India was competitive in round 3 of the JK Tyre Rotax Championship by finishing 3rd, 4th, and 9th in the Micro class with Kunal Vinod, Arjun R., and Saathvik Raju, and 5th in the Senior class with Shreyansh Jain.
 
The race was held at the very fast Kari Motor Speedway, which provided a challenge for the Birel ART India team in finding a setup for a track where no testing is allowed year round, other than on the Friday before the race. Without prior year's data, the limited testing initially affected the team's performance in qualifying, and Birel ART India drivers qualified in 6th (Vinod), 7th (Arjun R), and 8th (Raju) in the Micro class, while in the Senior class, Jain was forced to skip qualifying due to a last-minute seized engine.
 
However, by Saturday's heats Birel ART India found the right set-up and its drivers started recording some of the fastest lap times and progressively moved up the rankings. In the Micro class, Vinod recorded the fastest lap time in both heat 1 and 2, while Arjun R. also recorded the second fastest time in heat 2.
 
In the Micro final, Arjun R. and Vinod lined up on the grid in 4th and 6th place, but quickly moved up. The two Birel ART India drivers battled in 3rd and 4th for the entire race, and on the last lap Vinod pulled a gutsy, but clean move, at the fast banked turn and overtook Arjun R. for 3rd place. "I followed Arjun for many laps" explained Kunal Vinod after the race, "and I studied where I could overtake. On the last lap, I knew that the best opportunity was on the banked corner, and I went for it! I am glad that it worked out.
 
Arjun R. added "It was a great battle between teammates, and it was a lot of fun. I am a bit disappointed with 4th place, but we were very competitive throughout the entire weekend, and I enjoyed the wheel-to-wheel battle with Kunal."  Saathvik Raju started the final from the back of a grid, due to an accident in the pre-final, but staged an aggressive recovery that saw him cross the finish line in 9th place.
 
In the Senior class, Shreyansh Jain knew that he had to face an uphill battle, after seizing an engine and skipping qualifying. But in the heats, he progressively moved up the field and finished in 7th place in the second heat. However, in the pre-final, while running strongly, an unfortunate contact with a kerb stripped the fuel filter and forced a retirement. In the final, Jain had to start from the back of the grid once again, but showed some aggressive driving, which allowed him to climb up the field and finish the race in a strong 5th place.