Tarun Reddy at 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Rnd 1

Tarun Reddy’s 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship debut over the weekend saw the teen Indian driver secure 2 sixth-place finishes (Race 1 and 3) at Rockingham Motor Speedway. He finished in 8th place in Race 2. After taking 9th place in the opening qualifying session, he moved upto 8th place in the 2nd session trailing by only 0.7 seconds off pole position.

Tarun ReddyDespite a tough start, Tarun was happy to finish on a very strong note. He said, “The pressure got to me a little bit in first qualifying. I lack experience of making the most of new tyres and didn’t use them very well, and that cost me a good starting position. But in second qualifying I did a better job. It was my first race in England and I didn’t want to do anything stupid. I just wanted to come over the line in a good position.”

In the 1st race, Tarun passed American TJ Fischer for eighth place on lap 3. He moved up to 6th as drivers ahead made errors. In race 2, he went from 10th on the grid to 8th on the 1st lap. He lost a position to American TJ Fischer but passed Scotsman Colin Noble Jr on the 2nd last lap to finish 8th.

In Race 3, Tarun passed Belgian Wolfgang Reip on lap 2 to take 7th place. Towards race end he closed in on Noble and McLaren Formula 1′s Ben Barnicoat to secure 6th place in the the final lap into Chapman Curve.

“I was not too comfortable with the balance of the car in the race, but I was pleased to pass Noble towards the end of Race 2. We made some changes to the car and it felt a lot better in the final race. I lost a position at the start but made it back immediately on outbraking, and then I passed Reip. On the final lap I got Noble – because it was the last lap, I just went for it when I got the opportunity – and I was all over Barnicoat at the finish. With another lap or two I’m sure I could have had him as well!” said Reddy.

The next round is to be held at Donington Park on 31st May/1st June. “Rockingham went quite well. I didn’t expect it to go so well, with my lack of testing and the drivers I was up against. But as the weekend went on it got better and better.The plan is to come back to England a week before Donington and do a few days of testing so I can get up to speed with the circuit. Before then I will focus on my fitness and preparation in India, but it will be great to get more miles in the car.” he said.

Reddy’s manager and coach, MRF Challenge champion Rupert Svendsen-Cook, added, “In every single session, from first qualifying to the last race, Tarun got closer and closer to the front. I don’t think there was another driver who made as much progress as he did. And he did a great opportunist move on Noble on the last lap – that showed real character and commitment.”

Provisional 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Driver Standings (after Rd1):
1st Pietro Fittipaldi, 32pts; 2nd Piers Hickin, 28pts; 3rd Matteo Ferrer, 27pts; 4th Colin Noble, 22pts;
5th Ben Barnicoat, 20pts; 6th Tarun Reddy, 18pts