HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014
Khushlani returns from racing limbo
Vinayak Pande, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 13, 2012
First Published: 23:42 IST(13/9/2012)
Last Updated: 23:45 IST(13/9/2012)
File photo of Akhil Khushlani.

Before last weekend's JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS) round at Silverstone, Akhil Khushlani had not been behind the wheel of a racing car for almost a year.

His last competitive outing had been at the JKRAS round that ran as a support event for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. And even that was something that he did on his own.

"I invested my own money for the Delhi race last year," Khushlani told HT.

"This time around JK Tyre has said that they would help me out for both the Delhi rounds."

Finishing second after starting sixth in the second race of the weekend and setting the fastest lap of the race probably had something to do with it.

"His talent was never in question," said JK Tyre's motorsport boss Sanjay Sharma.

"After the way he staged his comeback after a year of not racing, there is no doubt in my mind about his ability to deliver.

More important than the result itself, Sharma cited the opposition Khushlani was up against as a reason for backing him for the remaining two rounds at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC).

"Had the drivers who finished second and third in last year's championship not been present then the result may not have counted for much," said Sharma.

"But the fact that he did this against stiff competition makes the result impressive. I only pray that he can repeat this form in front of his countrymen!"

While the JKRAS has been confirmed as a support race for the Indian GP, there was some speculation that the second round to be held in India might be cancelled due to the rumored cancellation of the FIA GT1 season finale scheduled for December 1.

"We will still race in December," said Sharma.

"As will the Polo-R Cup, the MRF single seat series and other national series. It's up to the BIC owners to get whatever racing series they feel will spice up the show."

Khushlani too has his sights set on just the last two rounds of the series for now and will give thought to what the future holds at the end of the racing season.

"I would of course love to race in a European-based series but that will stretch my budget quite a bit," said Khushlani.

"I might try for an Asian-based Formula 3 series but I won't know what sort of budget I will be able to put together until November or December."

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