Asian Le Mans: Maini/Karthikeyan/Rao end 2021 season with double Top 5 finish
The Indian team had a decent run in all of the four races as it learns the tricks.
The 2021 Asian Le Mans Series ended at Yas Marina circuit last weekend as Racing Team India finished its first sportscar journey with Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao. The trio entered in the lead LMP2 class, driving a Oreca 07, operated by Algarve Pro Racing Team.
It was one of the three cars entered in the category by the Portuguese endurance outfit as Mumbai Falcons, Amazon Cloud Services and JK Tyre Motorsport also extended their support towards Racing Team India in their maiden sportscar campaign.
The Thursday test session saw the #64 crew finish on top, whereas in the two practice sessions on the same day saw them end up fourth in the overall standings. The Qualifying had them finish fourth for Race 1, just over 1.3s from the pole-sitter, #25 G-Drive Racing.
At the same time, for Race 2, they were fifth in the standings, 0.577s behind pole-sitter #26 G-Drive Racing. The first race had Rao starting the proceedings as he was fifth at the stroke of the first hour which saw some safety car interruptions.
Maini took over the car in the second stint as the team were fourth at the stroke of the second hour. They were back to fifth in the third hour, where they finished eventually with Karthikeyan in the car as they had 111 laps in their kitty of the 114 done by the winners #28 JOTA.
The final four hours race had Rao start the proceedings again with the event again interrupted by safety car. They were fifth at the end of the first hour, the same position in the second hour, with Karthikeyan undertaking the second stint this time around.
The third hour saw them remain in fifth as Maini ended the proceedings, with the team claiming another Top 5 finish, with the #28 JOTA registering another win. With the four races in 2021 season, the team ended fifth with 42 points, with the drivers in sixth position.
The Indian outfit had a decent start to its sportscar campaign in ALMS.
[Image courtesy: Asian Le Mans Series]