Lucas Auer is back in form, claiming his second consecutive win at the Buddh International Circuit in Round 14 of the JK Racing Asia Series. Auer led the charge all the way from the start, pulling a gap and setting the fastest lap of the day.
“It was a very good race. I had a good pace today. Right from the first lap I could push and I held it. I managed to make good times and could hold on till the end,” the Austrian said.
“For me it was just a perfect race because I could drive consistent quick laps,” said Auer during the post-race press conference.
After a great start, taking second from Lorenzo Camplese, Malaysian Afiq Ikhwan pushed ahead trying to catch up with Auer. Despite all his efforts, the Meritus.GP driver was unable to do so and finished in second place.
“For me it was not a really good weekend. I had a crash in the first race yesterday and it was unlucky. Then this race, the car was not really on the pace. I couldn’t get a feel for the car yesterday so today I just kept defending my line and kept my time consistent. The race is still on for the next round,” concluded Ikhwan.
Malaysian Nabil Jeffri and Italian Lorenzo Camplese were battling for third for most part of the race and had a last turn incident where Jeffri got too close to Camplese as they made a dash for the finish line. They touched, allowing fifth-placed runner Irfan Ilyas to sneak past them to clinch third.
“It was a really tough race for me. On the first lap, I dropped down to sixth or seventh then eventually I overtook one by one. I could see that Nabil and Lorenzo had pulled a gap from me,” Ilyas said.
“Towards the end, my team told me ‘Irfan, you are on pace, don’t give up’ and then on the last three laps my team said ‘Irfan keep on pushing, you can get podium’. That’s why I kept on pushing and on the last turn, when Nabil and Lorenzo had a fight, I managed to sneak in through,” Ilyas said with a smile.
In the end, Camplese and Jeffri crossed the line in fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Australian Duvashen Padayachee. The Eurasia Motorsport driver had a tough start but managed to make a clean break from teammate Aaron Chang and Irfan Ilyas of Petronas Mofaz Racing to complete a clean race.
Midway through the race, there was a heated four-way battle for seventh with Meritus.GP’s Akash Nandy, Chang, Akhil Khushlani, Visnu Prasad and Freddie Ang. The foursome, at some turns, drove almost four abreast and provided most of the action for the day.
Crossing the line behind them were Petronas Mofaz Racing’s Hiqmar Danial and Eurasia Motorsport’s Pasin Lathouras and Natasha Seatter, while Raj Bharath was disappointed with his result today after crossing the line in 15th.
A total of 20 drivers from around the world took part in the JK Racing Asia Series, formerly known as Formula BMW Pacific, this weekend. Meritus.GP’s Khushlani, who drove the Formula BMW car in 2007 and 2009, and six other Indian nationals took part as guest drivers in the Series.
India’s Vishnu Prasad put in a stellar performance during the race, but was unable to reach his goal of a top seven. His 10th position was good enough to make his Meco’s Ministry of Speed team happy and Prasad was grateful for the experience.
“It was a tiring race. My main aim was to finish in the top eight but I couldn’t achieve that, I think I finished tenth. Definitely the pace was there, I could find another two seconds but I was one second off the leader’s pace, but that's a personal best for me.
“I hope I can do the November round as well and be there in the top five,” he concluded.
Sarosh Hataria, Rahil Noorani, Sandeep Kumar, Mohit Ahuja and Shashank Ravishankar completed the finishers for the day in 16th to 20th respectively.
Current Championship Auer and second-placed Ikhwan are still in a fight for the Championship win. The duo is now separated by 32 points, with Auer collecting a total of 235 points so far.
82 points are up for grabs the next four rounds, scheduled for November 2011. The JK Racing Asia Series 2011 Driver Champion will also be able to look forward to a GP2 test in the Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 car during the official GP2 pre-season tests in 2012.