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04/07/2016

JK Tyre Rotax National Championship

Birel ART India had a competitive weekend in the second round of the JK Tyre Rotax National Championship, scoring 4th and 6th place finishes in the Micro class with Rookie Cup champion Arjun R. and Kunal Vinod. The team was fast throughout the entire weekend, and started the Micro and Senior finals in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. However, a combination of slow starts and some bad luck kept the official team's drivers off the podium.

Qualifying started well in the Micro class, with Kunal Vinod recording the 3rd fastest time, while Arjun R. qualified in 5th and Saathvik Raju in 10th. In the Senior class, Shreyansh Jain qualified in 9th place.

In the pre-final, Vinod showed some smart driving and finished 2nd behind current national champion Mohsin, while in the Senior class, Jain displayed some aggressive overtakes and moved from 9th to 3rd place.

In the final, a slow start prevented Vinod from capitalizing on his front-row position; Vinod slipped into 7th place by the end of the first lap, and eventually finished the race in 6th place. Rookie Cup champion Arjun R. started from 5th and immediately showed that he wanted to challenge for the podium. Within a few laps he passed national champion Mohsin and two other opponents, and moved into 2nd place behind early leader Nair. However, after some intense battles, an off-track excursion on the last lap kept Arjun just off the podium in 4th place. "I had a bit of a slow start to the weekend, but I worked on my racing lines on Friday and Saturday, and by Sunday I found a good rhythm. The race was fun and I had the podium in my sight, but I went too wide in the last lap. I'll come back stronger for the next race," said Arjun R.

The other official driver in the Micro class, Saathvik Raju, had a consistent race in the midfield and was gradually working his way up, but had to retire after going into the gravel at one of the track's hairpins.

In the Senior final, Jain had a good start from 3rd, but unfortunately, he jumped very aggressively on a high-speed's kerb and damaged his sprocket, causing an early retirement. "We started the weekend by trying different setup directions, and by the pre-final, the Birel ART chassis was amazing and it allowed me to really attack the corners. It's too bad that in the final I rode a kerb a bit too much and bent my sprocket. It's part of the learning, I guess, but definitely a missed opportunity," said Jain.