Chennai: Akhil Rabindra and Neel Jani, representing team Hyderabad Blackbirds, registered a hat-trick of wins in Round two of the Indian Racing League (IRL), which concluded here at the Madras Motor Race Track on 26th and 27th of November.
The duo teamed up to secure wins in both the Sprint races and the Feature Race. The round consisted of two sprint races where each driver qualified for their teammate and a feature race that included a driver change pit stop mid-race. Drivers in the league compete in single-seater cars made by Italian constructor Wolf and fitted with a 215bhp Aprilia engine.
In the first Sprint race, Akhil Rabindra secured pole position in qualification, on which Neel started the race for the team to win the race. Roles were reversed in Sprint race two as Neel secured the pole this time for Akhil to start and emerge triumphant. They placed the Hyderabad team on top of the podium with a timing of 1:32.108.
In the Feature race, Akhil and Neel continued their dominance to complete a hat trick of victories for the weekend with a timing of 36:55.50.
Akhil Rabindra is the only Indian to be competing in the European GT4 series and finished fourth in the recently concluded season. He competes for Racing Spirit of Léman in the GT4 Circuit. Neel Jani is a former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner. Neel has also competed in A1 Grand Prix, GP2 Series and Formula E and has also been a Formula One test driver.
The Hyderabad Blackbirds secured 130 points from this round of racing and are comfortably placed on top of the table.
Akhil shared his thoughts on his win and about the league said “It was great to race at the Madras Motor Race Track after three years. Our team did a great job throughout the weekend and my teammate, Neel helped our team to quickly dial the car in for qualifying and races. It’s great to be part of an exciting, new championship, the league provides Indian youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves with seasoned international drivers. From the excellent choice of the wolf car and the exciting circuits in Hyderabad and Chennai, the league has done a great job. I look forward to taking this momentum to the next round and hope we continue to deliver.
The IRL consists of six teams — Chennai Turbo Riders, Bangalore Speedsters, Goa Aces, Hyderabad Blackbirds, Speed Demons Delhi and Godspeed Kochi in which Akhil represents the Hyderabad Blackbirds along with his teammates Neel Jani from Switzerland, Lola Lovinfosse from France and Anindith Reddy from India.
The next round of the league is set to take place on 3rd and 4th December on the same circuit, where Akhil and the Hyderabad Blackbirds will look to keep up their momentum on the back of their win here.