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10/06/2016

A competitive weekend for Birel ART India

In the first round of the Rotax Max National Championship in Bangalore, Birel ART India's Rookie Champion Arjun Rajiv finished 4th, after an eventful race.

After qualifying 4th, Arjun quickly moved up to 3rd in the second heat, and battled intensely for several laps with reigning National Champion Shahan Ali Mohsin. However, despite many overtaking attempts, Arjun finished the heat in 3rd place in a breathtaking photo-finish, with a gap of only 10 inches!

In the pre-final, Arjun was determined to move up and was battling again for 2nd, but unfortunately a back-marker spun right in front of him in the fastest section of the track. Arjun ended up t-boning the slower driver, but was able to finish the pre-final, albeit in 4th place. After the race, Birel ART India had to change the steering column, which was damaged in the accident.

In the final, Arjun immediately lost two positions due to a slow start. After a strong recovery to 4th, Arjun set a number of flat-out laps and closed a gap of about 100 meters to the 3rd place driver Yeasash More C. In the last five laps Arjun tried several times to overtake, but wasn't able to find his way through, and crossed the line in 4th place.

In the same Micro class, Birel ART India's driver Kunal Vinod  finished 6h. He qualified in 2nd place, but some slow starts in the heats put him on the back foot. He had a strong recovery that saw him move from 9th to 4th in the second heat. However, after a racing contact with Yeasash More C, a team's protest led first to a two-place penalty in the second heat, followed by an additional 10 seconds penalty. This series of penalties compromised Kunal's results, who despite setting the fastest time in one of the heats, had to settle for 6th place in the final.   

7-year old, Saathvik Raju drove a consistent race in the Micro class, but despite some strong wheel-to-wheel action, his result was compromised by a few contacts with other drivers. Saathvik staged a good recovery and crossed the finish line in 9th place.

In the Senior class, Shreyansh Jain had a fast pace all weekend, but was the unlucky victim of 6 accidents that compromised his chances of a good result. Every time Shreyansh moved up, he was rear-ended by other drivers and lost several positions. In the final, after being involved in two contacts, he slipped to 12th place, but then he engineered a number of forceful overtakes that allowed him to move up to 8th in the last 5 laps. 

"This was a race of missed opportunities, unfortunately. All our drivers showed great pace throughout the weekend, but a combination of racing incidents, some slow starts and some questionable penalties, prevented our team from getting onto the podium. Arjun in particular, showed great promise on his second race, already challenging the current National Champion," said Team Principal, Marco Bartoli.

"The team performed very well operationally. Despite still settling down after a late start to the season, the team showed great progress and professionalism. We look forward to the next race in Hyderabad," said Team Director, Preetham Muniyappa.