St Petersburg (USA), March 25 (IANS): India's Armaan Ebrahim, representing team Fan Force United, marked his debut in the Indy Lights series motor race with an eighth place finish in the first round here Saturday.
The 22-year-old from Chennai, who had qualified 14th for the gruelling 45-lap event, drove a smart race to make places, especially during the three restarts following yellow flags to garner vital championship points.
"It was always going to be a difficult opening round as I need to get used to the Indy Lights car which is very different from the GP2 and F2 cars that I have driven. With a stick shift 6-speed sequential gearbox and a heavy engine at the back, the characteristics of the car are very different and it does require a lot of testing to adapt to it," said Armaan.
"However, I am quite pleased with the result given the fact that we have had just two days of testing at a different circuit last week and also given the brake problems that we had throughout practise, qualifying and the race. We can only gain from this and move forward," added Armaan.
Armaan, sponsored by JK Tyre and being the first and only Indian on the grid, enjoyed a huge fan support from the expat Indians who literally mobbed the young racer.
Team co-owner Tyce Carlson, former Indy 500 driver, commented: "It is great to have Armaan on board with our team Fan Force United. We are a small team but are very confident that by the end of the year, we will be right up there in the Championship if not winning it.
"We are trying to add more value to Armaan and to the Team. Our goal is to get Armaan into the Indy Racing League and the Indy 500 along with us. Though young, his experience and driving skills bring all that we wanted from a driver to the team," said Carlson.
The next race is at the Barber Racing Circuit in Alabama-Birmingham on March 31 - April 1.