Akhil Rabindra of Black Birds Hyderabad emerged Driver Champion; GodSpeed Kochi are the Indian Racing League 2022 champions
The 4-week long inaugural edition of the Indian Racing League saw GodSpeed Kochi emerge as the overall champions of the league, they managed to defeat the leaders till the final round - Black Birds Hyderabad, who went into the finals without their leading driver Neel Jani. The fourth and the final leg of the Indian Racing League concluded at the Hyderabad Street Circuit. The wet weather in Hyderabad made for a wet race day. However, it did not dampen the spirits of the racers or the attending audience as palpable excitement and tension in the pits led to an epic finale. In the drivers' championship, it was Akhil Rabindra on top followed by Neel Jani in second and Alister Yoong finishing third.
Overnight rains which continued on the final day of the race saw the Qualifying 1 run under very wet conditions as the pair from Godspeed Kochi Nikhil Bohra and Ruhaan Alva finishing within the same second and were on top as Anshul Gandhi from Bengaluru Speedsters managed to be third, with a photo finish difference of .011sec over fourth qualifier Shahan Ali Mohsin from Speed Demons Delhi and Kevin Mirocha from Goa Aces was in fifth with over 2sec deficit.
Qualifying 2 was under a bit less wetter condition, which once again saw GodSpeed Kochi taking the pole and second pole position, with their drivers Alister Yoong and Fabienne Wohlwend finishing in the same second. The further four drivers qualified in the next second with Thomas Canning from Black Birds Hyderabad qualifying third. Sohil Shah and Gabriela Jilkova both from Goa Aces qualified in fourth and fifth while Akash Gowda from Speed Demons Delhi was fifth.
Race1, the wettest race of the day had 10 vehicles on the grid from six teams with Alister Yoong from GodSpeed Kochi on pole followed by Gabriela Jilkova from Goa Aces in P2. Akash Gowda from Speed Demons Delhi was in P3. As the race began, in the very first lap Akash Gowda had issues with his car which slowed down and managed to restart and rejoin the race and fell back, but in the very next instance Rishon Rajeev from Bangalore Speedsters crashed against the barrier on a left hander and the safety car was brought in which helped Akash to close the gap behind Sandeep Kumar from Chennai Turbo Riders and with 10 minutes left he managed to go past him on a left hander, it was not a good news for GodSpeed Kochi as Fabienne Wohlwend's car stalled and had to pull out with 6minutes of racing left, meanwhile at the back a tough battle between Sohil Shah from Goa Aces and Thomas Canning from Black Birds Hyderabad was underway and Sohil managed to go past him in the same lap to secure third position. Very next minute saw Celia Martin from Speed Demons Delhi also pulling out. Alister was the topper followed by Gabriela in second, Sohil in third. Thomas and Akash finished in fourth and fifth position respectively.
Race 2, as rain started subsidising the track was drying up, with ten on the grid led by Nikhil Bohra from GodSpeed Kochi on pole followed by his teammate Ruhaan Alva in P2, Kevin Mirocha from Goa Aces was third on the grid. When the race began Nikhil and Ruhaan were the leaders as Akhil Rabindra from Black Birds Hyderabad and Amir Sayed from Goa Aces followed them ahead of Kevin Mirocha from Goa Aces. With 11min left, Mitchell managed to overtake Anindith Reddy from Black Birds Hyderabad to run in seventh position. But in the seventh lap Shahan Ali Mohsin from Speed Demons Delhi and his teammate Mitchell Gilbert both retired. Ruhaan fell back to sixth position as he had mechanical issues and rejoined behind Jon Lancaster from Chennai Turbo Riders, meanwhile Kevin managed to go past Amir and within a short span even Jon climbed one position up. With three minutes left Akhil, Kevin, Jon and Ruhaan were locked in a fierce battle and in the final stages Anindith had to pull out which led to yellow flag. Looking at this Akhil and Kevin cut on their speed, thus giving way for Ruhaan and Kevin both to come out of the rush at a right hander. In the same lap Jon also went past Akhil and Ruhaan managed to pass by Kevin to his earlier running position in second. Jon in couple of occasions tried to go past Kevin but he was denied a passage. Nikhil finished on top followed by Ruhaan in second Kevin completed the podium, Jon and Akhil had to settle for fourth and fifth position.
The race which was run with wet tyres in dry conditions as the track had few wet patches. This 35min+1 Lap race began with two false starts, as in the first instance it was Akhil Rabindra's car and in the second occasion pole setter Nikhil's vehicle stalled and restarted. But the race was restarted after red flag and the time was reduced to 30min+1 Lap. Nikhil got off to a good start followed by Ruhaan, Kevin Mirocha, Amir Sayed and Akhil Rabindra. In the very next minute Akhil had climbed up to fourth position and by the end of the 4th minute Akhil spun and was helped out to rejoin with Marshal's assistance, Rishon Rajeev who climbed up the order to fifth by overtaking Nicole Havrda and then he faded out, with 22min left Akhil had to retire, with about 20 minutes left Ruhaan Alva from GodSpeed Kochi was called into the pits for the compulsory 3min stop and driver changeover. With 16min left Goa Aces driver Sohil took charge from Amir, Parth Ghorpade from Chennai Turbo Riders replaced Nicole Havrda with 13min left, with 11minutes to go Alister Yoong took charge from Parth Ghorpade from Chennai Turbo Riders and Kevin Mriocha's charge was taken over by Gabriela Jilkova from Goa Aces, Anindith Reddy had to come into the pits and was wait and go after 3minutes as his teammate Lola was unwell - as a result of this he was participating with 50percent of the points, Sohil returned back to the pits with about 9minutes remaining thus retiring. Jon Lancaster from Chennai Turbo Rider gave charge to Sandeep Kumar with just 9 minutes left and he finished on top which was short lived. 30 seconds penalty was added for causing Avoidable collision, which turned the tables and the final results were as follows, Alister Yoong & Nikhil Bohra from Godspeed Kochi finished on top followed by Goa Aces duo of Kevin Mirocha and Gabriela Jilkova in second position, while Anindith Reddy finished third, who climbed up from 8th position in the start. Jon and Sandeep finished fourth while Ruhaan Alva and Fabienne Wohlwend from Godspeed Kochi were penalised with 1min 10sec penalty for entering pits for changeover before the pit window was open, which pulled him down to sixth. Nicole Havrda and Parth Ghoprade from Chennai Turbo Riders finished fifth.