Mahindra Racing made history at Jerez by taking the first points for an Indian Team in the 125cc World Championship.
German rider Marcel Schrotter took 13th in a rain-affected Spanish Grand Prix as many big names in front of him fell victim to the slippery conditions.
The result completes a dream weekend for Indian sport, after their cricketers beat Sri Lanka to win the World Cup on Saturday, and Team Principal Mufaddal Choonia feels this is just the start for his team.
“I am very happy that we achieved our first points on a fantastic weekend for India with our country winning the cricket World Cup. We are pleased to take three points, but our target is much higher. Marcel was going very well at the end of the race – as fast as the top five riders. We have shown the promise of Indian engineering on a worldwide stage and I hope we go on to enjoy as much success as our national cricket team in the future.”
Schrotter came on strong in the second half of the 23 lap race and believes he could have finished higher had he made a better start.
“The beginning was not so easy. I started okay, but in the first two corners I was pushed out onto the wetter part of the track. It was dangerous, and I lost some positions. In the first two or three laps I couldn’t find my rhythm, and I lost almost five seconds on the group ahead. Then it came better: I found a good rhythm and a good feeling with the bike, and I was able to make some positions again. I knew I was faster than the others, so the finish was not so bad. I need to work on my speed in the early laps.”
In the end it was a bittersweet day for the series newcomers. Danny Webb was running strongly behind fellow Brits Danny Kent and Taylor Mackenzie and looked on target for a top ten finish before crashing out.
“I started well, but the group was coming at me from behind, and I was pushing very hard to keep ahead. My back tyre was sliding … maybe the setting was a bit soft. Then it suddenly let go and I spun out”, he explained. “I'm not badly hurt, and at least it was a strong race, and I can come back stronger for the next one. These things happen.”
The challenge for Mahindra is now to score points in dry conditions. They will have their first opportunity to do that when the 125cc World Championship moves to Estoril, Portugal in four weeks time.