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Rediff.com  » Sports » Karthikeyan wins Feature race

Karthikeyan wins Feature race

May 04, 2008 22:15 IST

Narain Karthikeyan scorched the Brands Hatch circuit to win the Feature race and close the A1GP season on a high note as Team India secured its first ever top-10 finish in Brands Hatch on Sunday.

Narain grabs India's first pole

It was Karthikeyan versus Robbie Kerr throughout and the Indian won the battle through a brilliant second pit stop. 

The Indian, starting at pole at the grid, finished  the 48-lap race in 1 hour 7 min 24 seconds to bring home a total of 21 points -- 15 from Feature and 6 from Sprint, where Karthikeyan finished fifth in the morning.

This powered India to its first A1GP top-10 finish as they edged past USA, Portugal and China to be perched on 10th place on the championship table.

The second pit-stop in lap 32 proved instrumental in Karthikeyan's win as he beat the host nations' Robbie Kerr at the break to go ahead and eventually grab the lead with 10 laps to go.

It was smooth sailing after that as he maintained the lead and secured India's second win of the season.

It also crushed Robbie Kerr's hopes of a double win after the Briton had won the Sprint race in the morning. Kerr finished second behind Karthikeyan with a marginal gap of 1.078.

Swiss Neel Jani finished third with a timing of 1:07:33.416. However he had already sealed the Championship for his nation when he finished fourth in Sprint race in the morning.

Earlier, Narain gathered six points for Team India by finishing fifth in the 15-lap Sprint race.

Starting fifth at the Grid, Karthikeyan did well to maintain his position and took 19 minutes 23: 610 seconds, a gap of 0.342 seconds from the winner Robbie Kerr of the host nation, to finish his race.

Kerr led from the start to finish to win comfortably and did not give any chance anyone in the top-five to get past him.

The only change in the top-five beginners at the grid was thanks to the brilliance of Ireland's Adam Carroll, who pipped Swiss Neel Jani to claim the third place. Carroll began at the fourth position and overtook Jani in the very first lap and eventually finished the race with a timing of 19:21:329. 

Jani finished fourth but it was enough to seal the championship. It hardly matters how he fares now in the main Feature race to be held later in the day.

Karthikeyan pushed hard the Swiss driver in the seventh lap but Jani held his nerves and did not let the Indian overtake him.

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