21 May 2018 06:43 PM

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DARSHAN CHOKHANI | 15 MAY, 2018

Ebrahim and Reddy Make Home-Affair in 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Season

Ebrahim and Reddy Make Home-Affair in 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Season


It was indeed a late call for Armaan Ebrahim and Anindith Reddy to pair-up and compete in this year’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia seaso. It is Ebrahim’s fourth season, while a first for Reddy. Even though they have a plan, but for now it is only for the first three rounds from the six in 2018.

The duo are driving the #27 Lamborghini Huracan Super Evo for Top Speed Racing – one of the biggest service teams in Asia. They completed Round 1 in Pro class, but then switched to Pro-Am in Round 2. With barely any time to even share the news, Ebrahim revealed that the plan with Reddy was only confirmed five days before the first race of the season in Malaysia.

Ebrahim had an option to compete in five rounds with an AM driver, but after weighing up all options, he decided to partner with Reddy despite the three rounds situation. Since everything was last-minute, they had to take fellow racer Ishaan Dodhiwala as their team manager and scramble for mechanics and engineers then after – but fortunately things fell into place during the weekend.

Both admitted that it took longer than they expected to sort their season out, having started the talks late last year, but are hopeful that they have a ‘successful’ run in sportscar racing at the international level. For starters, they had a fine run with double class podiums in Round 1 and Round 2 respectively with no prior testing.

For Ebrahim, it is a familiar role as he plays the veteran within the team, while Reddy gets up to speed being a rookie. The Chennai-born racer has had his share of success (as well as failures) in the championship, but for 2018 he is fairly optimistic of a better run.

“It's a whole new challenge all together this year [from previous seasons], but the one that I'm thoroughly enjoying [so far],” said Ebrahim exclusively. “Anindith will eventually be on the pace, but the challenge is how much I can help him to speed up that process.

“With the limited track time and change of venues each round it makes things hard for a driver stepping up to this level. In the perfect world where you are testing through the off season, got a full racing budget, use a ton of new tyres to try various things on the car and driving front.

“But right now, I'm back in a car after a seven month break [with Reddy in only his first run] and I feel lucky to be in the car and race competitively. As for the title, who knows...we want to take things race by race and see how we get on with things.

“The focus is to give Reddy majority of seat time so that we are on the same pace soon - in sportscars that is what will bring you overall results,” he said. Adding more, Ebrahim said he actually relishes the task handed out to him even though it is a hard one. He feels tougher situation only makes one better in racing.

At the same time, Reddy is up for the contest as well. Having won two single-seater titles (MRF F1600 and Euro JK) in 2017 in India, the Hyderabad-born driver is stepping into a whole new world. The only international experience he ever had was the one round in the Volkswagen Polo GTI Cup in China.

“It [Round 1] was essentially my first time in the car and the track (Sepang),” said Reddy exclusively. “The first session was quite difficult, but as I got more seat time things kept getting better. The car is very powerful, but it was easy to get used to - dealing with the added weight at high speeds was the most difficult part for me.

“In terms of outright pace, there is definitely more to be had. The car is [of course] very different from the single-seaters which I have driven largely in the last two seasons and the biggest jump for me so far. But it was definitely a good result [in Round 1] considering all other things.

“After testing on Thursday, I was way off pace and honestly, I was concerned about how the races would go. Qualifying was still tough for me, but we were able to fight it out in the race and that felt good. It was good to be an all-Indian team amongst others from all over the world and get a good result.”

For Ebrahim though, his co-driver’s pace was hardly a surprise. He reckons the two of them did all they could in the weekend – apart from missing few bits considering everything was rushed into. “I'm not surprised [with Reddy’s performance],” he said. “If I didn't expect this then I doubt either of us would have pushed so hard to make this happen.

“We ticked a lot of boxes in the first weekend and as always have a ton more to do in the next round. I'm pretty happy with my performance as well – only managed to do a handful of laps through practice, in fact, I missed pole due to strategy. Also, overall consistency wasn't bad either.”

Their next event takes place in Japan at Suzuka during June 29-30 - which for now is their last event together in 2018. Should they get a full season, the other races take place in Japan (Fuji, July 21-22) and China (Shanghai, September 22-23) with the World Finals at Vallelunga, Spain (November 15-18).

For now, Ebrahim’s focus is solely on Super Trofeo along with the running of his MSport team which will be competing in the newly-launched FIA Formula 3 Asia Championship. Reddy also has the Super Trofeo on top of his list. He is open to compete in MRF Challenge, but only if he doesn’t do a full year in Super Trofeo.
 

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