He may not have any aspirations of a career in top-of-the-line single-seater racing, but watching Aditya Patel become the first Indian to win a race in an international series at the Formula 1-grade Buddh International Circuit on Sunday was still pretty special.
The 24-year-old Patel won the last of the four races of the final round of this year's JK Racing Asia Series and along with 23-year-old Akhil Khushlani, consistently finished in the top four as they scored podium finishes on both days of the Sidvin Festival of Speed.
Given that Patel became the first Indian driver to score a podium finish at the BIC when the JK RAS supported this year's Indian Grand Prix, it seemed fitting that he became the first to stand on its top step.
"There was a lot of dicing going on in the front between Aston (Hare), Nabil (Jeffri) and Afiq (Ikhwan). I was right behind them just waiting for something to happen and then there was contact between Afiq and Nabil, which got me right behind Aston. Down the back straight, I managed to slipstream and get by and from there, I just looked in front and kept going," said Patel.
As a guest driver in the series that used to be known as Formula BMW Pacific (in which he competed in 2008 and '09), Patel won't be eligible for points, but that was the last thing on his mind.
"It's good experience to get a guest driver in a series like this," said Patel. "And there's no way I was going to turn down one at an F1 track in India!"