Racing Team India earns 4th place finish in Asian LeMans Series

On their first outing, Racing Team India finished fifth and fourth in the first and second races of the 2021 Asian LeMans Series. The Indian trio aims to race at the 24 Hours of  LeMans this summer.

By:February 16, 2021 5:30 PM

Racing Team India has made its Asian LeMans Series debut finishing just out of the podium. Racing in the top class LMP1 category, the Indian team finished fifth in the first race and fourth in the second race. The opening two rounds of the endurance races were the 4 hours of Dubai, held at the Dubai Autodrome. Racing Team India sees Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao, three drivers with Indian origins, racing for the first time as a team for the Indian tri-colour. The team aims to race at the 24 hours of LeMans later this summer, which would be a first for an all-Indian squad.

Racing Team India, backed by JK Tyres and AWS are driving an Oreca 07 LMP2 race car, with support from the Algarve Pro Racing, a crew with much credible history at LeMans and other endurance racing championships.

The trio in the first round started from fifth on the grid. The four-hour-long race began with Rao behind the wheel, followed by Maini who drove the middle stint and Karthikeyan brought the car home to finish where they qualified.

Driving the No 64 car, the team showed decent pace, but incidents and a pit lane speeding penalty threw a few curveballs. Additionally, the team was forced to make an extra precautionary pit-stop during Saturday’s race which dropped them down and was forced to climb back up to fifth.

The following day, the team improved to a fourth-place finish with Maini starting the race, Rao taking the middle stint and Karthikeyan taking the chequered flag.

Maini with his experience in the European LaMans Endurance Racing Series had a promising start. At one point, Maini was even provisionally leading the race. However, hopes for a podium were laid to rest after a collision with one of the GT cars. This forced the team to pit for a full service and a new nose which cost valuable time.

While the race weekend in Dubai showed the pace of the team, another two rounds remain in the championship. February 19-20 will see the trio head out for another two races. This time for the 4 Hours of Abu Dhabi for the 2021 Asian LeMans Series. The LMP2 class champion of the Asian LeMans Series will be awarded an automatic entry into this year’s 24 Hours of LeMans, something Racing Team India is currently fighting for.

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