Brno (Czech Republic), Oct 4: An untimely red flag thwarted Narain Karthikeyan’s title charge after he qualified third at the season finale of the 2013 Auto GP World Series at the Brno circuit here Friday.
Karthikeyan had been the quickest driver over the 5.4-kilometre circuit, finishing on top in both practice sessions and on his way to secure his fifth pole position of the season comfortably.
He had put in two fastest sectors on his flying lap when the session was red flagged due to an accident, with just three minutes remaining on the clock.
The cars then queued up at the end of the pitlane waiting for the restart and when the session went green once again, more drama was in store as the Indian’s car overheated due to heat soak and the engine cut off, giving him no chance to improve from his third position.
“We just didn’t have any luck when it counted – anyway we only have an outside chance of winning the title but this won’t help,” said Karthikeyan.
Starting third, he will be on the clean side of the grid and hopes that his trademark fast getaways will help him overhaul the drivers ahead – especially pole-sitter and championship rival Vittorio Ghirelli.
“Hopefully we can make a good start and get past the guys ahead early and manage a strong result, and we’ll see how the math works out on Sunday,” said Karthikeyan, referring to the final race of the championship.
Karthikeyan is currently fourth in the championship standings with 170 points – 21 behind his Super Nova teammate and championship leader Ghirelli.