Teenage Indian racer Karun Chandhok recovered from a disappointing non-finish on Saturday to finish in a strong second place in round 22 of the British Formula Three Championship's Scholarship Class a day later.

The weekend started strongly for Chandhok, when he was second fastest in class at the end of the official test session, lying just over a tenth of a second away from title rival Ernesto Viso. The qualifying sessions, though, weren't so positive for the T-Sport driver, as he finished up in third position for both the races.

"For some reason, I just couldn't hook the lap together in either session," he reflected, "We're only two-tenths of a second away from pole position in both races, which is not a lot but, in such a competitive championship, it makes a big difference."

As the cars rolled onto the circuit before the start of race one, there was a distinct case of deja vu as the circuit was drenched by a sudden downpour - just as it had been a week ago in Belgium. The weather change caused chaos and confusion for the drivers and teams alike, with some opting for slicks as they anticipated a drying track, and others opting to remain on their wet-weather rubber.

When the lights went green, Chandhok made a great start and moved ahead of team-mate Steven Kane. But, as the pack reached the first corner, Brazilian driver Joao Paulo de Oliviera tapped the rear of Chandhok's car, sending him sideways into the path of Justin Sherwood. This left the Indian out of the race with suspension damage, and brought out the safety car which affected the course of the race.

"It's always messy at the first corner in the wet," he sighed, "There wasn't enough room for all of us and, as things panned out, I got tagged from all sides. It is really frustrating, but there's nothing I can do about it now."

With Kane and Viso having gained valuable points in the three-way battle for Scholarship title honours, it was important that Sunday's race went a lot better for Chandhok, and so it proved.

The Indian once again made a great start to move ahead of Kane and, having survived the first corner, battled wheel-to-wheel with some of the Championship Class cars. By lap five, things had settled down and the rest of the race was a fairly processional affair, with Viso taking the win ahead of Chandhok, Sherwood and Kane.

Speaking at the end of the weekend, Chandhok declared that he would continue to fight as hard as he could for the championship, even though his non-finish in round 21 had made things extremely difficult.

"The result on Saturday was my worst nightmare come true," he admitted, "The championship was so evenly poised before the weekend that luck was going to play a part. Sadly, it played against me.

"It's still not over, though, and I'm going to Brands Hatch as the outside bet, with everything to gain and nothing to lose. Motor racing is a strange sport and, remember, I came back from a 33-point deficit to lead within two rounds a couple months ago, so it's still possible. I'm going to give it everything I've got at Brands."

 

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