Mitchell second overall, first in Rookie race two – Sept 15 07
Date posted on September 15, 2007 · Published by Mark Goddard
Kyle Mitchell took a brilliant second place in the second race of the day at the Chengdu circuit in China whilst his team mate, Akhil Khushlani, finished in sixth place after running as high as fourth. Mitchell again recorded the race’s fastest lap.
Pole man, Zahir Ali, stalled at the start causing some confusion behind. Jazman stormed into the lead from Grunwell, Mitchell and Lemvard. Akhil came by in sixth place from eight on the grid. Lap three saw Mitchell slipstream past Grunwell into second before turn one only to lose the place again under braking for turn three. The following lap the two protagonists repeated the place changes in exactly the same corners. Lap five saw the safety car out whilst a car was retrieved from the gravel. The re-start on lap eight saw the battle between Grunwell and Mitchell resumed with Akhil now up to fifth place. Kyle finally found his way past Grunwell again on lap ten and this time made it stick whilst Akhil dropped sixth after contact with Lemvard which slightly bent his rear suspension.
Mitchell was now on a real charge, setting the races fastest lap as he chased down Jazman. Mitchell took the lead into turn one with five laps to go but Jazman fought back and re-took the lead at turn two. This allowed Grunwell to catch up and the three went into turn three side by side. Jazman emerged in the lead but Grunwell half spun and lost a lot of ground. This allowed the leaders to battle by themselves and Jazman was forced to defend heavily. Kyle planned to draft past into turn one on the last lap only for the chequered flag to come out a lap early. Akhil finished sixth which was a good result considering the damage to his car.
“I know I can lead races so tomorrow I can win!” said a delighted Mitchell. “The car was brilliant and it gave me so much confidence.”
Akhil was disappointed “Lemvard hit me at turn one and it really spoilt my race. I should have finished fourth but the car was oversteering really badly due to the bent suspension”
Many noted that for the first time in many races the Meritus cars were no quicker in a straight line and seemed to have lost any power advantage they allegedly had after the disqualification of Jazman and Grunwell in the last event at Sentul for an engine technical infringement. The general consensus seems to be that is good for the series that any cheating is being stamped out and that all teams are now back on a level playing field.
Rounds 15 and 16 will take place on Sunday.