Young Indian racer Tarun Reddy achieved his best racing weekend internationally with a double podium finish in the UK Formula Renault Championship by finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th at Snetterton. The 16-year-old, who is also leading the MRF 1600 National Racing Championship, went fastest in Friday practice at a circuit he is visiting for the first time.
The 16-year-old from Chennai’s second place in race one was his best result to date in the UK, and he backed it up with two more excellent performances in his MGR Motorsport car. This came on top of his triple win the weekend before on home ground in the Formula MRF 1600 series. Reddy qualified fourth for races one and three, and sixth for race two, and was a little disappointed not to be further up. He had a good start to the opening race, almost managing to pass some of the drivers in front. He jumped to 2nd position on lap 4 and shook off a challenge from Italian Matteo Ferrer, a race winner this season. He then consolidated second place behind triple race winner Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of Formula 1 legend and two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi.
A thrilled Tarun commented, “We were very good in testing, but I have to work at optimising my new tyres in qualifying. Even though it is my first visit to Snetterton, I was comfortable with the car immediately. My pace was a lot better than Ferrer so we were able to edge away.”
In the second race, Reddy made a sensational start to move from sixth to third. “I got a very good start and passed three drivers in the first two corners,” he said. “That put me into third, and from then on I drove a consistent race and kept with the drivers in front of me.”
Once again Tarun made progress at the start of the final race of the weekend, rising from fourth to third when he passed another race winner this season, Piers Hickin. But Hickin moved back ahead on lap four, and Reddy this time finished fourth. “I had another good start and tried to lunge two drivers at the hairpin, but I only got Hickin,” he said. “The problem was I damaged my wing in race two, so that caused some heavy wear with the tyres. So for race three my tyres were finished, and also I was losing power over the races. Hickin came flying past me on the straight, and fourth was all I could manage.”
Now there are three weeks before the penultimate round of the championship, at Croft on 20th/21st September. “We’ve had a day of testing at Croft and we seemed quite fast,” said Tarun. “It would be a good place for my first win in the UK and I will give it 100 per cent!”
Reddy’s manager, reigning Formula MRF 2000 champion Rupert Svendsen-Cook, added: “It was top-notch and we’re delighted with his best weekend of the year. His three wins in the MRF 1600 round at Chennai allowed him to come to Snetterton with lots of confidence. He had a good shakedown test to get used to the Renault again. Qualifying was a bit of a missed opportunity after the pace he had on Friday, but he made up for it in the races and raced back to the front.”