|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Chandhok wins at Silverstone
Shobha Warrier | May 26, 2003 15:36 IST
Indian racing ace Karun Chandhok won the Formula 3 (Scholarship class) event at Silverstone on Sunday.
He put behind the disappointment of last week, at Knockhill in Scotland, where he finished only third in Race 1 and had to retire from Race 2 following a collision, to emerge triumphant.
The weekend started off well for the Madras-born driver, when he finished third in the official test session on Friday. In the qualifying sessions, held on Saturday, Chandhok fought off stiff competition from team mate Steven Kane, who was leading the championship after his bad weekend at Scotland, in the first session, and then later from Ernesto Viso in the second, to record two pole positions in the races.
"I am delighted. I really needed a good weekend here to put my championship aspirations back on track and there's no better way to start than with pole position. In the second session we did two laps that were fast enough for pole, which I'm really pleased about. The car is working well and I really like the F1 circuit here," Karun said about the test session.
The first race of the weekend, held on Sunday afternoon, was eagerly anticipated by the teams and drivers. It's a rare opportunity for them to drive on what is arguably one of the best Formula 1 circuits in the world. Big names from the motorsport world, including three-time Formula 1 World champions Jackie Stewart and Nelson Piquet as well as Jaguar's current F1 star Mark Webber were all watching the race.
Chandhok got off to a flier and instantly pulled away from Kane. Lap after lap he consistently pulled away and by the end of the race he had extended his lead to an impressive 6.4 seconds.
It was another great race for Chandhok as he also recorded the fastest lap of the race (1 minute: 46.520 seconds), earning himself another championship point.
An overjoyed Chandhok described his race thusly: "The car was really good right through the race and I was able to do consistent times all through, which is what you need to do in order to run at the front. The non-finish at Knockhill was a disappointment and I really needed to bounce back with a good result. The team at T-Sport have worked really hard all weekend and my engineer, Alan Woodhead, worked out a super set-up which really made today possible."
Silverstone is like Chandhok's adopted home, as he lives only five minutes down the road. He is also an instructor at the racing school there. So, the win at Silverstone was very special to him.
The second race of the day is to be held late Monday afternoon. Chandhok, who slipped to third place last week, has now moved to second place in the championship, which still has 15 races to go this year.
1. Karun Chandhok (Ind) 26:54.620s
2. Steven Kane (GB) + 6.43s
3. Christian England (GB) + 17.9s