Narain Karthikeyan finishes 6th in Round 2 of 2014 Super Formula series
Round 2 of the 2014 Super Formula series saw Narain Karthikeyan claw his way onto 6th place in the main race at Fuji Speedway (Japan) on 18th May, 2014. The Tata Sons and Tata Motors supported driver faced a difficult weekend start as engine issues saw him struggle to keep pace or take advantage of top speed runs through the 1.5-kilometre long main straight at the venue.
In the run up to race day, an electronic issue caused Narain to miss 20 minutes of practice on Saturday making it even more difficult to keep up. “From the start of the weekend we’ve sort of been on the back foot, so a sixth place was actually damage limitation to be honest”, said Narain.
“You’re bound to have some weekends like this, given the competition and experience most other drivers have in these conditions – but the end result is better than Suzuka where we came back with no points”, said Narain in reference to an incident with Loic Duval that saw him out of the race despite having qualified 2nd.
“We have been constantly working on the setup front – because it is a new car, different tyres, regulations and so on so there is always something to learn”, he revealed.
“It was the first time I completed a full race distance in the Dallara SF 14 and it was incredibly physical – more than the HRT Formula 1 car I drove in 2012”, revealed Narain.
“There is an incredible amount of downforce and doing 35 laps is quite demanding so I definitely need to keep training hard to keep up with the competition”, he added.
Round 3 Super Formula Series is scheduled at Fuji Speedway on 13-14 July 2014. Super Formula series (known previously as Formula Nippon) has this year switched to a new Dallara SF14 chassis with power coming from 2 litre, 550 bhp turbocharged engines, akin to new 2014 F1 regulations.
Beginning 8th on grid for the days 35 lap main race, Narainstarted strong moving into 4th place by the first corner. However, a lack of top speed alongwith a small excursion later in the race saw Narain lose 2 spots to finish in 6th place.