It is the second time in Mahindra’s first GP season that both riders have finished in the top 15.
Danny Webb (20, from England) was a strong 12th, screwing up his courage on the last lap to regain two places in the final shuffle. Marcel Schrötter was two places lower, also moving up one in a strong finish.
The Indian team – the only one on the grid to make its own engine and chassis – was cock-a-hoop, after problems in qualifying had left the riders languishing near the back of the grid, in 22nd and 23rd positions.
Hard work overnight had solved a small niggle with the engine, while the riders’ efforts off the grid put them back into points-scoring positions. They finished the first of 19 laps of the 5.403km circuit lying 15th and 16th.
Fortunes came and went during the race, with Schrötter moving past Webb, then dropping to the back of the group with gear-changing issues. At the end he found a way round the problem to close right up once more.
Team principal Mufaddal Choonia congratulated the riders. “Considering the depressing starting position, I am very happy that both riders capitalised at the start. A double points finish is very pleasing. I hope we can improve on it at Indianapolis.”
Choonia added: “Improving results are something for all of us to take encouragement from, and I’d like to also wish all our Indian countrymen a happy Independence Day tomorrow.”
DANNY WEBB – 12th Position
A good race, and my fitness level felt really good through the whole race, after my shoulder injury earlier. My start was good, the engine was going well, and we managed to fix our chassis difficulties also. In the last four laps I was struggling with rear grip and lost some places, but I managed to up my pace and get them back. Both of us in the points ... it’s mega.
MARCEL SCHRÖTTER – 14th Position
Considering the starting position, 23rd, that was not so bad. The possibilities would have been even better from higher on the grid. My start was good, and the first few laps, and the engine was strong. In the middle of the race, there was a little problem with my quick-shift gearchange, so I was losing a little time every shift. But I could make it up in the corners, and I pushed really hard in the closing laps.
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