Brno (Czech Republic), Oct 5: A sensational start from third place on the grid set the foundation for Narain Karthikeyan’s brilliant victory in race one of the Auto GP World Series season finale at the Brno circuit here Saturday.
Having endured a difficult qualifying session Saturday after an untimely red flag forced him to abandon a flying lap that would have otherwise been good for pole position, Karthikeyan was determined to bounce back and a slingshot start saw him take race lead before the leading pack reached the first corner.
From there on, the Indian drove a flawless race – controlling the pace and driving to the limits of his tyres, as he had started the race on used tyres in a bid to save a fresh set for the reverse grid race two.
“We knew we had the pace all weekend and if hadn’t been for the red flag we would have started on pole,” a delighted Karthikeyan said.
“So we were keen to make amends today and ensure that we take the title fight down to the last race.”
His title rival and Supernova teammate Vittorio Ghirelli finished second.
Race one result means that the Indian has 195 points, 15 behind leader Ghirelli in the title standings. He is also the driver with maximum number of wins (five) and pole positions (four) in the 2013 season.
He will start eighth on the reverse grid race Sunday, which means clinching the title will be an uphill task as Karthikeyan not only needs to win the race but Ghirelli has to finish sixth or lower.
“Honestly there a very little chance but all I can do is get the best result tomorrow and see what happens. We have a set of new soft tyres saved and we intend to make the best of it,” he added.