Arjun Maini, driving for Jenzer Motorsports, created history by becoming the first Indian driver to win a GP3 race when he claimed the sprint race on Sunday.
The 19-year old scored his first win in two years while finishing six seconds ahead of Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci and teammate Alessio Lorandi of Italy.
— /KA (@KannanAmaresh) May 14, 2017
“As I stood on the podium and heard the national anthem, I was overjoyed that this moment was telecast across many countries in the world,” said Maini, as he cherished his moment of triumph, which came after a hard-fought race. “The national anthem at the podium is a dedication to every Indian who has ever supported me and backed me in any way that they can.”
Earlier, Maini finished Race 1 in seventh position. With the victory and a points finish, Maini is now third in the championship after the first round of the eight-round GP3 series. He has 23 points.
Nirei Fukuzumi leads the standings with 29 points, followed by Maini’s Jenzer teammate, Alessio Lorandi of Italy (25).
After finishing seventh in Race 1 for Jenzer Motorsport, Maini started Race 2 second on the reverse grid.
Arjun Maini grabbed the lead from polesitter Raoul Hyman at the start before overcoming Dorian Boccolacci’s charge at turn one to break away from the field.
From there on, Maini was able to extend his lead before storming to his maiden victory six seconds ahead of Boccolacci and third placed Alessio Lorandi.
— JK Tyre Motorsport (@JKTyreRacing) May 14, 2017
“My desired lead came from the first corner, followed by a nerve-racking first five laps with (Dorian) Boccolacci on my tail and his attempts to overtake me multiple times while we were in the DRS Zone,” explained Maini, trying to take us through the cat-and-mouse moments of the race. “Once I broke away from the DRS zone, I was able to focus on my pace and started to build the gap. It was the most amazing feeling as I crossed the finish line and it started to sink in that I had my first race win in GP3.”
Sunday’s win capped off an amazing week for the young Indian who earlier this week was signed by Haas F1 team as a development driver. It also proved that he continues to remain India’s most sought-after drivers of his generation.