The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Karthikeyan, Chandhok in podium finish

Chennai: It was a memorable Sunday for the two Indian Formula racing drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok who finished on the podium in different events in Europe.

Karthikeyan, representing the Tata Carlin team, pushed himself to overall second position with two successive podium finishes in the World Series Nissan race at the Monza circuit in Spain, according to information received here.

JK Tyres’ Chandhok finished third in the 12th race of the British Formula Three (scholarship) event at Castle Combe circuit in England to remain in overall third spot.

Narain drove a superb race in one of the world’s fastest circuit unmindful of his “back problems.”

With overall leader Franck Montagny having been chosen to drive for the Jaguar Formula One team, the chances of Karthikeyan topping the championship is very high, his team manager said in a press release Monday.

For Sunday’s race, the Indian was on pole alongside Stephane Sarrazin of France and Montagny was pushed by Karthikeyan to the third spot. Karthikeyan flew past Sarrazin to be the forerunner at the first corner. With Montagny pushing hard for position, Karthikeyan applied the brake as late as possible to prevent Sarrazin driving through at the Chicane thereby running over the kerbs.

This allowed Montagny to take the lead but Karthikeyan did not yield to the tricks of Marc Gene, Williams’ Formula One test driver, who finished third behind the Indian. Second place overall and a sterling performance placed Karthikeyan in higher position for the all-important Drivers’ Championship.

Chandhok, on the other hand, started third at the grid in the 11th race, hit a championship class car from behind and survived some anxious moments in the 12th race with lots of “wheelspin” ending his chances of fighting with Steven Kane.

Driving in unusually hot weather at the Castle Combe, where average speed for a 3km lap was close to 180 kmph, the Chennai-born driver was closely following one of the Formula Three championship class cars on the straight towards the first corner.

The 19-year-old lifted off the throttle but had no leeway to go past and hit the car from behind. In the 12th race of the season, Chandhok started on the dirtier side of the circuit but managed to finish third after a one-to-one dual with Kane, who finished second.

“It was good to finish third here. Last year, we had problems in both the races and could not complete the events. A third place here is not a bad result but we were not able to put the winning package together,” Chandhok said.

Email This Page