It's normally the machinery at domestic motorsport events that dominate a racing circuit with their sound and presence. That formula was flipped on its head on the first day of the Sidvin Festival of Speed at the Buddh International Circuit on Saturday.
The sprawling expanse of the circuit that has hosted the first two editions of the Indian Grand Prix seemed, at times, to overwhelm the cars normally seen at the more modest circuits at Sriperumbudur and Coimbatore. Not that anyone was complaining, however.
Least of all former seven-time Indian National Rally champion and current participant in the Indian Touring Car Championship, N Leelakrishnan, who won the very first race of the weekend. "It feels really good to drive here as there's a lot of room on this track to go flat out," said Leelakrishnan.
Drivers in the touring car categories went so far as to jokingly suggest cars faster than their seasoned Maruti Esteems and Honda Citys were better suited to the 5.125km circuit.
Indian drivers in the JK Racing Asia Series and MRF Formula 2000 got their chance to pit their skills against other single-seat racing hopefuls that hailed from as close to home as South East Asia to as far as the United States.
The MRF F2000 series, in particular, was a stern test for 19-year-old Parth Ghorpade who went up against the likes of reigning Formula Two Champion Luciano Bachetta and GP3 Series race winner Conor Daly.
Ghorpade managed a ninth-place finish against the 18-driver grid in race one and a 14th place finish in race two. In the JK RAS, Akhil Khushlani and Aditya Patel took turns in visiting the podium as they scored a second and third-place finish in the two races, respectively. Both drivers managed to finish within the top-four in both races.
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HRT entry for 2013 doubtful
New Delhi: The participation of HRT F1 in the 2013 Formula 1 season looks unlikely after the team reportedly failed to meet the 30th November deadline to submit its entry fee for next season to the FIA. The team had been put on sale and is believed to have until today to find a buyer or be dissolved.