In an one-off event in the French GT4 championship, Akhil Rabindra paired up with Beitske Visser for the 2018 season's Round 5 driving the #50 3Y Technology's BMW M4 at Formula 1's Barcelona circuit.
The Indo-Dutch pair recently finished their respective campaigns in the GT4 European Series and were invited to drive the BMW in the Pro-Am category in Spain. They finished 30th and 27th respectively in the two practice sessions.
They were 20th and 21st in their category. The Qualifying 1 saw Rabindra finish 18th overall and 13th in class with Visser finishing 15th overall and 13th in class in Qualifying 2 - both the sessions had red flag periods which disrupted their runs.
It was a good run from Rabindra in Race 1 on Saturday as he continuously gained places in his stint. Off the line, he could only make up one place but then he could claw into several drivers while staying with the lead group to be 12th when the pit window opened.
The Dutch female racer made up some ground to be eighth in her stint. But while tussling for positions, Visser made contact with #144 Aston Martin for which she was handed a drive-through penalty which was converted to a 30-second time penalty.
She finished 13th overall on the road but the penalty dropped the Indo-Dutch pair to 20th overall and 14th overall. The Race 2 on Sunday was a trouble-free run as Visser made her way up to 13th in her opening stint when the pit window opened.
Rabindra then continued the charge when he took over as the Indian moved up to seventh overall in no time. He though lost out to #34 Maserati but hung on to eighth then, defending hard from at three cars behind.
He eventually finished eighth overall and seventh in class - keeping the three cars at bay to round out a good learning weekend alongside Visser after the main season and on a circuit which will come in handy in future.
About the Author
Darshan Chokhani is a FIA Accredited journalist covering both Indian and International championships, including Formula 1, MotoGP, Formula E, World Endurance Championship and more. Although specialising in motor racing, but follows Cricket, Tennis, WWE and events involving Indian athletes.