Karthikeyan title contender after fourth win
Donington Park (Britain): Round seven of the Auto GP World Series saw Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan stage an incredible fight back up the order to win race two after having started seventh on the grid here on Sunday.
Having finished second in the opening race of the weekend after starting on pole, Karthikeyan had started seventh as per the reversed grid.
"It is definitely the most satisfying victory of the season to win by 13 seconds after starting seventh. It was amazing," said an elated Karthikeyan after winning his fourth race of the season.
The triumph didn`t come easy though as the former Grand Prix driver was squeezed off track on the opening lap.
"I managed a good start but got squeezed onto the grass. However, I kept it flat and passed (Sergio) Campana. He passed me back on the following lap but hit my front-left so I had some damage to the suspension," said Karthikeyan, recounting the dramatic opening moments of the race.
The Indian was the first driver to make his mandatory pitstop and exited the pitlane near the back of the pack, but once in clean air, he set a searing pace that other drivers, including the race leaders, could not match.
He steadily climbed up the order as the laps ticked past. With six laps to go, he was in fifth position with all the four ahead of him yet to make their stops.
Despite encountering some traffic, Karthikeyan continued to set a slew of fastest laps while the leaders started stopping.
The Indian finally took the lead on the final lap and crossed the line a massive 13 seconds ahead of pole-sitter M Van Buuren, claiming the fastest lap of the race to top off the flawless weekend.
The 36-year-old had extended his pole streak to four in a row Saturday, before going on to finish second in the opening race Sunday morning.
Karthikeyan amassed 40 points during the weekend, taking him 21 points behind championship leader Vittorio Ghirelli.
With four drivers in contention for the title, the Auto GP title will go down to the wire at the Brno circuit in Czech Republic, to host the season finale Oct 6.