Abu Dhabi: Indian businessman Gautam Singhania made his debut race at the Ferrari Challenge 2014 a memorable one by finishing a creditable third on the podium, his success coming on the back of a spirited fightback here on Friday.
The Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Raymond, who is the first Indian, racing at the annual event, earned the third position in the Coppa Shell event on day two of Ferrari Mondiali at the Yas Marina Circuit. The 49-year-old had qualified fourth in his category.
Gunning for a podium finish, Singhania faced tough competition from fellow drivers, but he did not allow "myself to be intimated" in the race that drew in 43 top participants from across the world.
The car used by Singhania for the race, held outside of Europe for the first time in its 21-year history, was Ferrari 458 challenge.
"Starting from 26th on the grid to finishing on the podium, it was a very tough challenge. It feels great. There were lots of shoving and pushing and lots of actions happening all around, but the result was good," Singhania said after the race.
He added:"I just kept my nerves and that came from experience. I was very happy aand was just looking at the front, not at back. It is one of the most competitive races you can feature in.
"I was telling someone the other day that as a child I grew up thinking I will own a Ferrari one day and today I am racing at the top end of Ferrari championship against the best of the best. The EU (European Union) challenge is very competitive. It is a motivational booster for the world finals tomorrow."
The Netherlands' Dirk Adamski won the top prize in Coppa Shell category while the second position went to Rick Lovat of Canada.