Patel's eventful weekend at Sepang
The fourth round of the Audi R8 LMS Cup saw a mixed run for Indian Aditya Patel at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Having had a good run of performances in the season till now, Patel headed into the fourth round, pumped for a good result.
He started the weekend with a fourth and eighth place finish in the two practice sessions which was headed by Marchy Lee (Audi Hong Kong Team) and Thomas Fjordbach (Federal-Mogul Motorsparts Racing Team) respectively.
Interestingly, the Team Audi R8 LMS driver was within a second of the leader in the both the sessions, depicting the competitiveness among the drivers.
It continued the same way in qualifying where Patel finished fourth, 0.842s off polesitter Cheng Congfu' time (FAW-VW Audi Racing Team) while Lee ended second and former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong (Audi Teda Racing Team) third.
Disaster in race one; points in race two
Starting fourth, Patel's race didn't last really long as he retired on the opening lap of the first race after an incident which damaged his Audi car.
Going into turn two, Lee spun and hit Patel which ended the Indian's race while the Chinese driver managed to continue. Yoong won the race from Lee and female driver Rahel Frey (Castrol Racing Team).
"It wasn’t the most ideal weekend. Marchy’s [Lee] mistake cost me my race," Patel said after the race.
With retirement in race one, Patel had to start race two from the back of the grid but it didn't deter the Indian by an inch.
He fought his way back and finished fifth, salvaging some useful points in the championship. His gritty drive included a jump from 17th to ninth in the opening lap, in the race won by Lee while Congfu finished second and Frey third, again.
"The second race was one of the most exciting races I’ve driven, having started last and moving up through the field to finish fifth, we managed to claw something back in the end and get some points out of the weekend," Patel said.
Yoong leads the championship after the end of the fourth round with 101 points while Patel is fourth, tied with Fjordbach (third) on 90 points.