Calcutta: The big name today after Narain Karthikeyan is Karun Chandhok. The second aspirant for the F1 tracks has been doing his bit, pretty fast, on the Formula III tracks, the latest being his sixth finish in the Thruxton circuit’s (England) Round 24 of this year’s British F III Scholarship class championship.
The 2.3 mile circuit is the fastest on the calendar with average speeds of over 175 kmph and top speeds of over 250 kmph.
The 18-year-old Chandhok, the reigning Asian Formula 2000 champion of Team JK Tyre, had earlier in the day he retired from Round 23 while running in a strong third place, Monday, according to delayed information reaching here.
With friend and colleague Karthikeyan in attendance on the weekend, Karun came up with a strong performance in qualifying on Saturday with second and third places, respectively. Robert Dahlgren secured a double pole position with the Indian just four-tenths of a second behind him.
In the first race of the day Karun made a good start to retain his second place, but lost momentum around the ultra-fast Goodwood corner and was passed by Adam Carroll going down the next straight. Karun was looking strong in third place when he lost the rear end of the car as it hit the ground over the bumps through Goodwood, causing him to spin off into the fields at 205 kmph. Fortunately there was no injury and no damage.
In the second race Karun held his third place off the line and maintained that through the first two laps. He was a little cautious through Goodwood on lap III and that gave Carroll a run on him down through the next corner and the back straight.
Chandhok struggled with deteriorating rear tyres and a lack of grip, with the resulting slide costing him more time. He limped home at sixth.
Chandhok is supported by by JK Tyre, ICSA Logistics, and Kingfisher and also by UCAL Mikuni, Amaron, Castrol, TRAXX and Parx. He has two more races of the championship this weekend where he hopes to convert his qualifying form into podium results.
Meanwhile, Karthik Kancherla won the Hyderabad round of JK Tyre national karting championship. Parvesh Kumar was the Cadet Class (8-12 years) Champion, Anand Prasad won the Junior Class.
The MAI case
In another development, in New Delhi Monday, Motorsports Association of India has again got a favourable verdict from the court vis-a-vis the conduct of motorsports in the country. The appeal bench of the court, says a report, dismissed an application of the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India (FMSCI) to vacate or quash an interim order passed in the Appeal preferred by the MAI.