Doha: A sequence of daring manoeuvres and overtakes from Raj Bharath saw him clinch Race 3 of round one of the MRF Challenge 2014 at the Losail International Circuit here late on Saturday. Even more impressive was Bharath’s performance in Race 4 reverse grid race where he started from sixth and finished second behind Toby Sowery, who was 0.212 seconds quicker.
The final race of the weekend was neck and neck. With pole sitter Mathias Lauda, Britian’s Ryan Cullen and Pedro Cardoso running hot in the top three slots, Bharath and Sowery had their task cutout. Sowery, who happened to be the only driver to make a podium finish in all the four races, pushed his single-seater to the extreme. He took charge of the race as leader after an error in judgement at a curve during the 10th lap saw Lauda go off the track and pushed to sixth.
Bharath wasn’t far away. With a record lap timing of under two minutes, the only driver to do so in the race, the Indian tailed Sowery in the 12th lap. However, Sowery, by then, had gained a three-second lead and it was enough for the Brit to walk away with his second victory in round one with Bharath and Cullen accompanying him at the podium.
Though Lauda was unfortunate not to have pocketed the race after being in front for close to 10 out of the 15 laps, his rival Freddie Hunt once again failed to make an impact and ended up 10th in Race 3 and couldn’t make the finish line in the last race.“Starting sixth in the second race, I was hoping to get make the top three,” said Bharath....