|Indian drivers doing admirably in their first qualifying session|
Akhil Khushlani was the fastest of the Indian guest drivers who are competing this weekend at the JK Racing Asia Series at Buddh International Circuit. The Series is in India to support the 2011 Formula 1 Airtel Grand Prix of India from 29th to 30th October 2011.
Khushlani is making a return to the Series (formerly known as Formula BMW Pacific) after a two year hiatus and was immediately comfortable in the car. He clocked 2 minutes 2.831 seconds to place him ninth on the grid for Round 13 of the race later today.
Series registered driver, Raj Bharath was the tenth fastest driver and the second fastest Indian during the session. He is ahead of Vishnu Prasad who will line up 14th and Mohit Ahuja in 16th.
Prasad cited that the team managed to improve on the times “It was really nice. When we started off we were about nine seconds off but at the end we were just two to three seconds off the pace”.
Sandeep Kumar was also happy with his performance today. “There was quite a bit of improvement in my driving. I found eight to nine seconds and I think with a new set of tyres, I can find another three seconds”.
Sarosh Hataria, Rahil Noorani and Shashank Ravishankar will close up the grid in 18th, 19th and 20th respectively.
Current JK Racing Asia Series Championship leader, Lucas Auer, has regained his pace to claim pole position for both races this weekend where the four fastest drivers were within half a second from one another. Auer of Eurointernational clocked an impressive 2:00.522 on his 14th lap during the 30 minute session and was consistently on pace.
“We are back on pace. We had a good car, really good set-up. The pressure came in where we wanted it.
“I found my line and compared to yesterday I changed it to be a bit like the Formula 1 lines. For me it was a perfect Qualifying. Two pole positions, so we are getting back. I am positive but I have a lot of competition from the other drivers. We are all within one tenths so anything is still possible but we are on pole and we are happy for that. Afterwards we will think of the race and push again” said Auer with a satisfied smile.
The Austrian’s teammate, guest driver Lorenzo Camplese, will line the grid in second after clocking 2:00.564. Winner of the past six races, Afiq Ikhwan of Meritus.GP takes third and will line up next to the Season’s first race winner, Nabil Jeffri of Petronas Mofaz Racing.
The drivers have a lot to prove this weekend with the Formula 1 paddock watching them very closely. It is the penultimate weekend and the top three drivers are all pushing to claim the coveted first Series win. The winner will also receive a GP2 test in the Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 car during the official GP2 pre-season tests in 2012.
Rounds 13 & 14 of the JK Racing Asia Series is held this weekend at Buddh International Circuit. Round 13 will be held on today, Saturday, 29th October 2011 at 3.30pm local time with Round 14 scheduled for Sunday, 30th October at noon.
JK Tyre & Industries Limited, the leading tyre manufacturer in India, is the title partner for the JK Racing Asia Series. The Series is also supported by AirAsia, Asia’s leading low-cost carrier.
The JK Racing Asia Series is currently the only Junior Formula that provides a unique opportunity where the drivers are given a platform to compete in front of the Formula One fraternity. On three occasions the JK Racing Asia Series will support Formula One Grand Prix, in Malaysia, Singapore and the newly built circuit in India.
The JK Racing Asia Series is organised by Motorsport Asia Ltd.