Arjun Maini created history by becoming the first Indian to have a won a race in the Toyota Racing Series held in New Zealand. The Bangalore resident put up a great show as he displayed nerves of steel and thwarted all attacks by British driver Sam MacLeod at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park Circuit.
Arjun qualified on pole position with MacLeod on P2. At the start of the race, Maini managed to stay ahead of the rest of the field as the cars approached the first corner. However, four cars tangled at the hairpin bend leading to a red flag. The restart saw Maini charge ahead of the pack once again as he drove on the limit and defended his position against the relentless pursuit by MacLeod. On winning his first race Arjun Maini said, ‚ÄúIt was a good day overall, after qualifying issues in my first two races, I was finally able to grab pole position for the first race and third for tomorrow‚Äôs feature race, I’m also very happy to finally get my first win of 2015 and hopefully I can add a few more before the end of the series.‚ÄĚ
The race saw some nailbiting action with some intense battles, one of which proved to be disastrous for championship leader Lance Stroll, who retired after a collision and as result, saw his championship lead trimmed to just 13 points.
The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand’s top level open wheel racing category. The series helps young racers develop their racing skills as they learn to race cars that feature a carbon-fibre composite chassis and slick racing tyres. The series also opens doors to new opportunities, case in point being the inclusion of Lance Stroll in the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Arjun takes Lights to Flag Victory
|Arjun Maini, who today became the first Indian to taste victory at the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, put on a dominant performance to emerge victorious in an eventful race at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park located in Hampton Downs, New Zealand.
Arjun who earlier in the day managed to put the car on pole position for Race 1 of the third round of the Toyota Racing Series 2015, managed to get a clean start and maintained his position at the start. Others however were not so lucky with Jamie Conroy, Mathias Kristensen and MatteoFerrer all coming together and forcing the Safety Car to come out. Arjun who drives for the M2 Competition Team, was last weekend penalized for a Safety Car restart violation last weekend, was cautious this time around and once again managed a clean get-away. However Sam Macleod also managed to stay within touching distance and put a bit of pressure on Arjun; however the talented 17 year old from Bangalore kept his cool and managed to defend his position. Another incident involving Chrlie Eastwood and championship leader Lance Stroll who is signed by the Ferrari Young Driver‚Äôs Academy brought out another Safety Car. Arjun managed another good restart when the Safety Car came with Macleod trying an audacious move around the outside of Turn 1, once again Arjun kept his cool and steadly built himself a gap to the second placed man. Brendon Leitch brought out the final Safety Car of the racewhen he went off and severely damaged his car. Sam Macleod also had a broken rear suspension and was forced to retire from the race. The incident filled race was eventually called off 3 laps before the end, which meant the positions remained stayed the same and Arjuncreated history by becoming the first Indian to win a race in New Zealand.
Asked on how he felt, he had the following to say, ‚ÄúIt was a good day overall, after qualifying issues in my first two races I was finally able to grab pole position for the first race and third for tomorrow‚Äôs Feature Race, I‚Äôm also very happy to finally get my first win of 2015 and hopefully I can add a few more before the end of the series.‚ÄĚ
Arjun who is backed by J.K.Tyre and Kirloskar Electric has now reduced the point deficient to the championship to just 13 points and will look to capitalize further tomorrow when he starts in 4th and 3rdrespectively for the two races tomorrow.