European GT4: Rabindra/Thoma secures Top 5 finish in Race 2 at Paul Ricard
It could still be a double Top 5 finish pending the outcome of the appeal.
After a promising first two rounds, the Round 3 in 2019 European GT4 Series at Paul Ricard in France proved to be another solid outing for PROsport Performance's Akhil Rabindra and Florian Thoma in the #18 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 car.
It started on the slower side with the duo finishing 20th overall in first practice session and 13th in Silver class, while they were 21st overall in the second practice session and 13th again in Silver class. The bounced back well in the qualifying sessions though.
Thoma qualified fifth - both overall and Silver class - in Qualifying 1 for Race 1, finishing only 0.679s behind the pole-sitter. Meanwhile, Rabindra was on pace as well to be seventh overall in Qualifying 2 for Race 2 and sixth in Silver class.
It was a slightly slower start from Thoma aboard the Aston Martin Vantage on Saturday in Race 1 at Paul Ricard as the Swiss racer lost couple of places to be seventh. He gradually made his way up to fifth by the time the pit window opened up.
Rabindra took over the car and re-joined in sixth. He made up two places to fourth where he would finish after a retirement up the road and a penalty to another car. But to their unfortunate luck, the team received a 38 seconds time penalty after the race.
They were handed a penalty for an earlier tangle of Thoma with the #24 KTM, but PROsport Performance have lodged an appeal against the penalty with KTM having no issues with the fight. The provisional result has them 15th overall and ninth in Silver class.
It wasn't a great start from Rabindra in Race 2 on Sunday as overheated brakes cost him any performance with the Indian dropping to 11th at the end of the first lap. He dropped two more places to be 13th while defending from the cars behind.
He pitted early from 14th overall after a surviving a safety car period as Thoma immediately gained places to be inside the Top 10 already after the pit window closed. He was also helped by few penalties for drivers speeding under the Full Course Yellow.
The Swiss driver was on charge though as he eventually claw his way up to fifth overall and in class after some solid moves, Up ahead, it was #25 BMW doing a double from #14 McLaren and #3 Mercedes to end the Paul Ricard weekend.
With the Race 1 result to come in couple of weeks, the points standings has Rabindra and Thoma in sixth in Silver class with 46 points with PROsport Performance in 12th in the teams' standings with 60 to its name.
The Indo-Swiss pair had a historic weekend with first pole and podium finish.