Racing Team India’s dream of securing an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans ended with a fifth place finish in the overall standings of the Asian Le Mans Series at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The team lead by India’s ace F-1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao raced their ORECA 07 LMP2 car to a pair of fifth place finishes in the final two races of the season. Earlier, in the season’s opener in Dubai it had chalked up a fifth and fourth place finish.
The Dubai drive gave the team some hope of bettering its show but unfortunate racing incidents hindered the No. 64 challenger’s chances of maximising its potential.
For Racing Team India, backed by JK Tyres and with technical support from reigning Asian Le Mans champion Algarve Pro Racing, it was a big learning curve in its maiden season. It offered plenty of positives too.
The team showed it had the speed to fight, leading the second race at one stage. Narain, the man with rich experience, was blisteringly quick and so was Maini. The 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge Champion Rao, the team’s bronze-rated driver, also made big strides forward, unlocking a new level of performance from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
With these valuable lessons, Racing Team India will continue to chase its dream of becoming the first Indian team to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.