Rockingham (Northamptonshire), April 7: Sixteen-year-old Tarun Reddy from Chennai marked his debut in the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault championship with two sixth-place finishes and an eighth spot in the triple-header here over the weekend.
Reddy, driving for the MGR Motorsport team, came in sixth in races one and three, and eighth in race two at the highly technical Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit which mixes an Indycar-style banked Oval with complex twists and turns on the infield.
Reddy’s teammates, Pietro Fittipaldi, the 17-year-old grandson of 1972 and 1974 F1 World champion Emerson Fittipaldi, and Matteo Ferrer (Italy) won the first and second races, respectively, while Alex Gill of Fortec Motorsport topped in the third outing.
After qualifying in ninth place in the opening session, Reddy slashed the deficit to the front in the second session, taking eighth place, just 0.7 seconds off pole position.
Reddy said: “The pressure got to me a little bit in first qualifying. I lack experience of making the most of new tyres and didn’t use them very well, and that cost me a good starting position.
“But in second qualifying, I did a better job. It was my first race in England and I didn’t want to do anything stupid. I just wanted to come over the line in a good position.”
In the first race, Reddy passed American TJ Fischer for eighth place on lap three and then moved up to sixth as drivers ahead made errors.
In race two, Reddy went from 10th on the grid to eighth on the first lap. For much of the rest of the race he was in a big fight, losing one position to Fischer but passing Scotsman Colin Noble Jr on the penultimate lap to finish eighth.
In the final race of the weekend, Reddy passed Belgian Wolfgang Reip on lap two to take seventh place. Towards the end, he closed in on a battle between Noble and McLaren Formula 1 protege Ben Barnicoat, and he was able to snatch sixth place from Noble with a dramatic move going into Chapman Curve.
Reddy was pleased with the weekend, and is now looking forward to the second round which takes place May 31-June 1 at Donington Park, Derby.