Racing Team India ended its first Asian Le Mans Series campaign fifth in the overall championship standings. 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 at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina track.
The results came on the back of the fifth and fourth-placed finishes the team chalked up in the two season-opening races in Dubai. Their fifth-placed finish ruled out any possibility of the team gaining automatic qualification to the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans in June as it is reserved for the team that wins the Asian Le Mans series.
“Racing Team India is grateful to the Asian Le Mans Series and the ACO. Organisers were extremely supportive of the team’s effort and goals and welcomed it into the series with open arms,” said the team in its statement.
The fifth-placed finish is, however, an impressive feat considering it was the team’s debut season at the Asian Le Mans series and it overcame significant obstacles in the Abu Dhabi leg.
The team ran into trouble even before the race started in Abu Dhabi as Karthikeyan was involved in a crash after an LMP3 car ahead of him spun. The team’s LMP2-spec Oreca-07 prototype was left with significant damage but Asia Le Mans champions Algarve Pro Racing’s support ensured that the team was able to carry out the repairs on time.