Following numerous delays, the F4 Indian Championship marked its inaugural appearance alongside the second season of the Indian Racing League. Originally scheduled to commence on the Hyderabad street circuit, the season opener was abruptly relocated to Chennai's Madras International Circuit at the eleventh hour, attributing the change to elections in Telangana.
According to an official statement released by the organizers, they expressed their commitment to respecting the rules and regulations of the Election Commission, leading to the decision to shift the venue. Consequently, the complete 2023 season will now unfold in Chennai. Rounds 2 and 3 will take place at the Madras International Circuit, while the finale will be hosted on the new 'Formula Racing Circuit' street track.
In the racing action, Akshay Bohra emerged victorious in the first F4 India race, while Moore made history by becoming the first female winner in the Indian Racing League.
The F4 India grid boasts a lineup of 11 drivers, drawing in young talent from across the globe enticed by the opportunity to earn Super Licence points. All contenders are navigating the tracks in the FIA-homologated Gen 2 Mygale F4 car, a vehicle also featured in the French F4 championship. The Dutch team MP Motorsport is overseeing all the cars for this inaugural season.
Cooper Webster had an impressive start, clinching victories in two out of three races over the weekend. The 20-year-old Australian, initially a sim racer, is part of the Red Bull Esports squad. Transitioning to real-life racing last year, he competed in Australia's S5000 series and the UK's GB4 Championship, where he secured a runner-up finish.
Akshay Bohra, a standout performer who recently secured a third-place finish in the Euro 4 Championship, showcased his prowess by winning the inaugural F4 India race from the pole position. Consequently, he started Race 2 from the sixth position on the grid, determined by reversing the top 6 order from Race 1. Meanwhile, Cooper Webster commenced Race 2 from the pole position.
Webster went on to claim victory in Race 2, while Bohra skillfully navigated the field to secure a second-place finish. Although Bohra initially crossed the chequered flag first in Race 3, he faced two post-race penalties, ultimately relegating him to P7. This turn of events handed the race win to Webster, propelling him to the top of the overall championship standings.
Indian Racing League
The Indian Racing League entered its second season, maintaining the use of the Wolf GB08 Thunder single-seaters. The competition adheres to the familiar format, featuring five city-based leagues comprising a blend of Indian and international drivers, each team including a female driver.
Defending champions Godspeed Kochi had a strong start, with Ruhaan Alva clinching victory in Race 1 from the pole position. Sohil Shah of Goa Aces secured pole position for Race 2, but the Bangalore Speedsters, with Sarah Moore at the helm, ultimately claimed the race win. Moore's triumph makes her the first woman to win a race in the Indian Racing League.
The upcoming Round 2 is scheduled to take place at the same venue on November 30 and December 1.
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