Sunday January 27, 2013
Rahul finally drives to his first chequered flag
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian driver Rahul Mayer achieved a major breakthrough in his single-seater racing career when he took his first chequered flag win in Round Seven of the Formula Gulf 1000 Championship at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The young Malaysian has been waiting for this win since the series began in November last year and having been on the podium in six of the previous races. And he achieved it in stunning fashion with his spare car.
Nearing the end of the qualifying session, 16-year-old Rahul had a problem with the engine and had to change to the spare car.
Starting Round 7 in fourth position and second row on the grid, Rahul made good progress and made up one grid position on the first turn.
In lap 7, the leading car of Natasha Seatter made contact with Nicholas Canal and so Rahul made his move round the outside of the battling pair to take the lead. Rahul settled down after taking the lead and pulled away from the pack to set the fastest lap of the race in 1:01.18 in lap eleven.
Having raced in karts for six years, Rahul made his move up to Formula single-seater racing earlier this season with his parents funding his involvement.
”I had to switch to a spare car. But thankfully, all cars are the same in the one make Formula Gulf 1000 championship, so there was no variation in the performance.
“I am so happy to eventually be on the top step of the podium, I have been on the podium in six races so far and this is my first time on the top step and it feels great,” said the youngest competitor in the premier Gulf based single-seater championship.
In Round 8 with temperatures dropping on the circuit, he started from pole on the grid but conceded his first place after a few laps.
With his tyres beginning to wear and some brake issues to contend with, Rahul managed to maintain third position with a fastest lap of 1:01.39 for Round 8.
“During the second race, it was a real struggle as my tyres were beginning to go off and I had a brake issue to deal with so I was really struggling to keep up with Natasha and Nicholas,” added the Kuala Lumpur-based teenager.
Natasha still leads the championship standings having won seven out of the eight races so far.
Formula Gulf 1000 championship will return on Feb 14 for Rounds 9 and 10 at the Yas Marina Circuit.