JKRAS: Auer Rookie Champion and race winner at first Indian race

Published on October 30th, 2011

Lucas Auer beamed with pride when the Austrian national anthem played for him at the Buddh International Circuit after winning Round 13 of the JK Racing Asia Series. The Eurointernational driver also claimed the Rookie Cup win after collecting two pole positions and one race win today.

Auer made an impressive start and immediately opened up a gap in the action filled race. The mid pack changed positions numerous times and there were also a few incidents to keep the audiences on their toes.

“I think my start was not too bad but at the first couple of laps I did not have such a good pace. After the laps I found my line again there is no grip outside because of the Formula One but at the end I could manage to get good speed and gain the quickest lap.”

“The lines I found worked really good and even today I got a lot more corner speed. The lines are good. The track is more grippy and it’s quicker to drive. The times will be faster tomorrow and will be under two minutes.”

“I’m very happy with that. I want to thank the team who gave me a great car in every condition, they prepared me well this year, they deserve a big thank you for an incredibly good job,” said Auer after the race.

Guest driver, Lorenzo Camplese, also had a good start in second and maintained his position until he was pressured by third placed starter, Afiq Ikhwan.

At turn five, Ikhwan tried to make a move and touched the rear tyre of Camplese resulting in the Meritus.GP drivers front wing coming off. This allowed Nabil Jeffri to pass and take second.

Jeffri then pushed hard, clocking fastest laps along the way in an effort to catch up to Auer. But right at the last lap of the race, the Petronas Mofaz Racing driver made a mistake, taking a turn too wide and getting his tyre caught on a slippery part of the track. He spun, allowing Camplese to regain second completing a one two for Eurointernational.

“It’s been a very difficult race. I’m very happy with the result. It’s a very competitive Championship and I would like to thank the team. I hope to get a win tomorrow,” said Camplese.

Jeffri said after the race, “I had a good start, I was right behind Afiq. The four of us were quite close, the three of us and Afiq. I expected a close race but unfortunately for Afiq he was taken out or unlucky, I don’t know what happened to him. We were close up to one point when I took second, I just kept on pushing and did what I was supposed to do.”

“I caught up to Lucas bit by bit until one point where my pace was stuck while Lucas found somewhere to be quicker so he pulled away in the last few laps.”

“I’m very eager for a win, my last win was the first race of the season in Sepang.”

Jeffri’s Petronas Mofaz Racing teammate, Irfan Ilyas, finished the race in fourth ahead of last race podium finisher, Australian Duvashen Padayachee. The duo were caught in the mid pack tangle with Indian guest driver Akhil Khushlani, Eurasia Motorsport’s Aaron Chang, Freddie Ang and Hiqmar Danial of Petronas Mofaz Racing and Afiq Ikhwan, who had lost his front wing by then.

All eyes were on the mid pack battle where they were driving nose to tail, changing positions and even going into turns five abreast. In the end, they finished with Ilyas in fourth, Padayachee, Khushlani, Chang, Prasad, Ang, Ikhwan and Danial in fifth to eleventh respectively.

Ikhwan was disappointed after the first lap incident but is confident he will be able to make up for the results today.

“I didn’t do so well today, I had a bad qualifying. In the race, I don’t know, it’s like there was team orders or something. I can see the second car slowed, like it was on purpose.”

“At turn five I tried to make a move, tried to overtake him and my front wing touched his sidepod, and it came off. All I did was finish the race and score points.”

“It’s very hard, it’s almost impossible to drive without the front wing but I just finished the race and scored the points.”

The JK Racing Asia Series continues on Sunday, 30th October 2011 with Round 14 at 12 noon.

JK Tyre & Industries, the leading tyre manufacturer in India, is the title partner for the JK Racing Asia Series. The Series is also supported by AirAsia, Asia’s leading low-cost carrier.

The JK Racing Asia Series is currently the only Junior Formula that provides a unique opportunity where the drivers are given a platform to compete in front of the Formula One fraternity. On three occasions the JK Racing Asia Series will support Formula One Grand Prix, in Malaysia, Singapore and the newly built circuit in India.

The JK Racing Asia Series is organised by Motorsport Asia Ltd.

words & pix: Motorsport Asia Ltd.

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