Kuala Lumpur, Sep 15 — Indian racing driver Raj Bharath Sunday rounded off a challenging Formula Masters outing at the Sepang International Circuit with a pair of fifth place finishes.
The 5.5-kilometre venue also plays host to the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix and MotoGP rounds.
Supported by Bangalore-based Embassy Group and driving for Meco Motorsport, the start of the weekend was far from ideal for the 19-year-old as he was stuck with a misfiring engine in the opening session of the weekend.
The issue took the entire day to work through and cost him several hours of track time before it could be successfully diagnosed and fixed.
“I had done maybe three laps and the engine started to misfire and grew worse, so I pulled into the pit and that was the end of the day,” said Raj recounting his inauspicious start to the weekend.
The reliability of the Volkswagen-powered Formula Masters car has been satisfactory throughout the season, but this particular outing proved to be a difficult one.
As a result, he went into qualifying with only a handful of laps under his belt, and found himself off the pace compared to the front-runners who had driven and done setup work throughout the day.
“We went into qualifying without a clue of what we needed to work on with the setup and so on, and we were almost two seconds off the pace, which is miles off,” he quipped.
With two fifth place finishes, Raj lies fourth in the championship with only the triple-header season finale at Shanghai International circuit remaining, the venue where he won in May earlier this year.