Ordos (China), July 5 (IANS) Buoyed by his first win of the season at Shanghai International Circuit in May, Indian youngster Raj Bharath qualified third at round three of Formula Masters China here Friday.
Backed by Bangalore-based real estate developer Embassy Group and driving for Indian outfit Meco Motorsport, Raj will start from the second row of the grid for two out of three races of the weekend.
At the start of the weekend, the 3.7-kilometre layout was extremely dusty as expected but given the large number of races scheduled for the weekend, the track gripped up in no time.
Throughout the free practice sessions, Raj was continuously in the top five and the team managed to make a step forward for qualifying even though the session didn't go smoothly due to yellow flags.
"There was a yellow flag at the first corner due to some incident and it happened so that I got my fastest first sector on that lap. I backed off but next time around the yellow was still there and I posted my fastest lap on that lap," said Raj.
Six other drivers went through the same routine and had their fastest qualifying laps cancelled as a result. Luckily though, Raj's consistency paid off as his second fastest-qualifying time was just one-tenth off his best time and he didn't lose any grid positions as a result.
"The grid is so tight, if I had been three-tenths or so slower on my second best lap, I would have lost at least three positions. So from where we are now, we can still hope to get on to the podium and even win," he said.
Race one and two are scheduled for Saturday with race three on Sunday.