Raj Bharath makes it two successive wins for Indians
Having control and being able to overtake at the right moment are two of the most important things in motorsport and Raj Bharath had plenty of both as he drove to his first race win in the MRF Challenge 2014 at the Losail International Circuit here on Saturday.
Bharath finished ahead of Kyle Mitchell and Toby Sowery to be the victor in Race 3 after Tarun Reddy had won Race 2 a day earlier.
Bharath almost made it two wins on the day but missed out to Sowery, who was the only driver to make the podium in all four races, by just 0.212 seconds in Race 4. Both the races provided the right kind of excitement under lights.
The feature race of the day motored off with Sowery on pole and Bharath alongside him. The Indian had a great start and took the lead while Sowery was pushed to third behind Ryan Cullen. The latter overtook Bharath at the end of the first lap to go into the lead. In the meantime, Mitchell squeezed between the two.
Bharath spent the next few laps trying to overtake Mitchell even as Sowery failed to take advantage of his lead. The Indian got past Mitchell with a great move and was right behind Cullen within a lap. He was in control once he managed to overtake Cullen after another lap. Bharath was followed by Mitchell, who pushed Sowery to the third spot.
In Race 2, pole sitter Mathias Lauda was ahead of Cullen and Pedro Cardoso while Tarun jumped to fourth from seventh after the end of the first lap and started to catch up with the top two. The race was so close that the top seven drivers were separated by only one second in the fourth lap.
Sowery and Bharath had rather poor starts but soon managed to be third and fourth respectively in the eighth lap. Sowery passed Cullen and jumped into lead in lap 10 ahead of Lauda, who took the reverse grid pole for the final race.
Bharath took a little longer to pass both the drivers and then set off to catch Sowery, who took a three-second lead with three laps to go. Bharath, who scored the most points of the day, was the only driver to go under the two-minute lap time while setting the two fastest laps. He, however, finished second, 0.212s behind Sowery, who topped the timings. Cullen was third.
The results (top 10): Race 3: 1. Raj Bharath (Ind) 30:33.379; 2. Kyle Mitchell (RSA) 30:33.705; 3. Toby Sowery (GBr) 30:34.591; 4. Ryan Cullen (GBr) 30:36.420; 5. Pedro Cardoso (Bra) 30:42.693; 6. Mathias Lauda (Aus) 30:43.400; 7. Tarun Reddy (Ind) 30:44.074; 8. Dylan Young (Aus) 30:47.176; 9. Vinicius Papareli (Bra) 30:47.797; 10. Freddie Hunt (GBr) 30:53.413.
Race 4: 1. Sowery (30:28.285); 2. Bharath (30:28.497); 3. Cullen (30.33.088); 4. Cardoso (30:37.804); 5. Tarun (30:37.816); 6. Nikita Mazepin (Rus) 30:38.336; 7. Mitchell (RSA) 30:38.866; 8. Papareli (30:39.287); 9. Lauda (30:41.975); 10. Young (30:42.515).
Article Source: The Hindu
Article Link: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/mrf-challenge-2014-raj-bharath-makes-it-two-successive-wins-for-indians/article6517138.ece