Tio Ellinas wasn’t convinced when he was given a drive-through penalty by the stewards for a jump-start in the fourth race of the MRF Challenge third round at the Bahrain International Circuit here on Saturday. The 21-year-old ended up finishing 10th, a position that made him thoroughly disappointed.
The Cypriot was aiming for a perfect third round. He had won the third race comfortably and has never been out of the podium even once in the championship when the incident happened.
The 21-year-old would still be happy for he remains at the top of the overall drivers’ standings with 150 points.
“For no reason,” replied Ellinas, when asked about the penalty. “I thought I had a normal start. They (the stewards) said I had moved a little bit. I was about to finish a great weekend.”
Arthur Pic, who was the championship leader before the start of the third round, has now slipped to second place, with 134 points. The Frenchman emerged third in the third race and crashed out in the fourth after a collision with Renan Guerra of Brazil.
In all probability, Arthur might not take part in the fourth and final round in Chennai in February next year for it could clash with the European GP2 championship.
“My main focus is GP2,” said Arthur.
Rupert Svendsen-Cook couldn’t have asked for more. The 23-year-old Brit finished second behind Ellinas in the third race and drove a near-perfect fourth to emerge first.
With 128 points in the kitty, Cook is now in third place.
“I am very happy. Overall it was a fantastic weekend,” said Cook.
The final round will be held in Chennai from February 14, 2014.
The results (provisional):
Race 3: 1. Tio Ellinas (Cyp) 21:07.639, 2. Rupert-Svendsen-Cook (UK) 21:10.470, 3. Arthur Pic (Fra) 21:10.659; Race 4: 1. Cook (21:15.025), 2. Shinya Michimi (Jpn) 21:21.987, 3. Sam Dejonghe (Bel) (21:26.274).
Indians standings: Race 3: Raj Bharath (11th), Tarun Reddy (16th), Vikash Anand (18th); Race 4: Vikash (8th), Raj (9th), Tarun (DNF).