Greater Noida: On a day of highs, 16-year old Aston Hare from Johannesburg, South Africa, clinched the championship in the JK Racing Asia Series in his maiden single-seater season while India's Aditya Patel notched his first international race in this category as the Sidvin Festival of Speed concluded at the Buddh International Circuit, here on Dec 1.
Patel, the 25-year old, from Chennai, participating in the JK Asia Series as a guest driver for Euro International team, snatched victory by slipping past Hare on the penultimate lap to complete a fine run in the championship.
For Hare, also from Euro International, it was great weekend by winning three of the four races to annex the championship ahead of front-running Nabil Jeffri and title contender Afiq Ikhwan (Meritus) both of whom retired after a collision in the eighth lap.
Hare started out well to jump into the lead before Jeffri, who had got past Patel, and Ikhwan caught up with him. The trio were involved in a close battle before Jeffri and Ikhwan took each other out on the last corner.
Patel, who had kept up with the trio, then seized his chance to slipstream past Hare on the back straight of the penultimate lap to clinch his first international win in single-seater racing.
"I had a poor start and was struggling for pace, may be because I had not warmed the tyres sufficiently. I fell to fourth behind the three championship contenders, but stayed out of trouble. On lap eight, Jeffri and Ikhwan went out after making contact and I then caught up with Hare before passing him on the penultimate lap," said Patel.
For Hare, still in school, and here with his mother and sister, it was a great start to his career. Hailing from a family of racers, Hare said he had come into the weekend hoping to finish second in the championship and so, the result was yet to sink in.
"My family was here to support me and I just wanted to defend my second place in the championship, but it turned out different. It is still to sink in, but certainly, I feel great," said Hare.
Veteran Ameya Walavalkar claimed the championship in the JK Tyre-VW Polo R Cup by winning the first of the two races while Prashant Singh took the honours in the second run for his maiden success.
Sandeep Kumar took the honours in the Pro Category and was subsequently chosen to participate in the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup series next year.
Earlier, the Indian Touring Cars race witnessed a close battle between veteran Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan (Big Foots Racing) and B Balavijay (Moto-Rev India) throughout the six laps.
Balavijay came close to slipping past seven times National Rally champion Leelakrishnan who, however, defended his lines well while showcasing his vast experience to complete a fine double this weekend.
Leelakrishnan finished second in the championship, just one point behind Arjun Balu (Tiger Sport India) who sat out the final two races as he had already clinched the title with a round to spare.
Balavijay, the 2011 IJTC champion, completed his debut season in the ITC class by finishing third in the championship.
In the Indian Junior Touring Cars class, S Feroze Khan emulated his father Ayub by winning the championship as he finished second in both the races over the weekend while Fahad Kutty of Team Game Over, who achieved a double took the second spot in the final standings.
JK Racing Asian Series - Race 1 (9 laps): Aston Hare (Euro International) 1 (18mins, 08.935secs); Akhil Khushlani (Euro International) 2 (18:15.763); Nabil Jeffri (Euro International) 3 (18:16.375). Race 2 (10 laps): Aditya Patel (Euro International) 1 (20:13.116); Hare 2 (20:18.697); Aldan Wright (Meritus GP) 3 (20:19.569).
LGB Formula 4 (6 laps): Saran Vikram (Mars Racing) 1 (16mins, 19.153secs); Sarosh Hataria (Dark Don Racing) 2 (16:19.800); Diljith Shaji (Dark Don Racing) 3 (16:20.062).
Indian Touring Cars (6 laps): N Leelakrishnan (Big Foots Racing) 1 (14:15.489); B Balavijay (Moto-Rev India) 2 (14:52.670); Sunny Sidhu 3 (14:58.210).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (6 laps): Fahad Kutty (Team Game Over) 1 (16:36.084); S Feroze Khan 2 (16:37.254); S Sreeram 3 (16:46.745).
Volkswagen Polo R Cup - Race 1 (6 laps): Ameya Walavalkar 1 (14:48.856); Jeffrey John Kruger (South Africa) 2 (14:49.601); Avdumber Hede 3 (14:50.132). Race 2 (5 laps): Prashanth Tharani Singh 1 (12:18.930); Munjal Savla 2 (12:23.090); Kruger 3 (12:23.198).