Fuji (Japan), Sept 18: India’s Armaan Ebrahim enjoyed a mixed weekend as he, along with Sri Lankan team-mate Dilantha Malagamuwa finished first in his class and second Overall on Saturday before scrambling to a hard-fought fourth in the next outing today in the fifth round of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia series here.
In the first race of the double-header, Armaan, starting second on the grid behind Jono Lester, set a hot pace and exchanged lead with the pole-sitter no fewer than four times. In the process, Armaan set the fastest lap of the race, but with the bonnet threatening to come off following a contact with Lester at the first corner, Armaan was forced to ease off.
Malagamuwa, after taking over from Armaan, did well to nurse the second place to record the team’s seventh podium in 10 starts this season.
On Sunday, in the second race, the conditions were tough due to persistent rains overnight. Malagamuwa, who had qualified sixth for Race-2, was forced to run wide to avoid an early braking car in front and lost track position in the bargain. Armaan then did well to up the pace and bring home the car in fourth overall in the downpour.
Commenting on the weekend, Armaan , who is supported by JK Tyre, said: “I qualified second for Race 1, just .0012 off pole and Dilantha qualified sixth for Race 2.
“I moved into the lead after a good start in Race 1 by making a move around the first corner. I set the fastest lap of the race soon after. Jon Lester, who was in pole position, and I ran close, but I had to back off and settle for second because my bonnet was coming off.
“This happened due to light contact at the first corner of the first lap. Anyway, I pitted in second right behind the leader. Dilantha went out and did well to maintain his position and bring the car home 2nd overall and a win in class.
“Race 2 was a tricky one because it had been raining through the night, heavily enough for the start to be delayed. Dilantha, starting from sixth, lost out and ran wide at the first corner while trying to avoid a car that had missed his braking point. This made him drop way down the order and made life a lot harder.
“Dilantha did well to come back to seventh, but the gap to the leaders was massive. I managed to pull back a bit and brought the car home in fourth overall. Conditions were crazy as the rain kept increasing.
“We hope to do better in the next round in Valencia, Spain, in December.”