Karun Chandhok - Karun had a successful campaign at the World Endurance Championship last year with JRM team in the LMP1 category. For a racer competing in his first endurance type championship, it was a mighty effort in the end clocking fastest laps for his team during race, qualifying well and competing with the best drivers in the series. He also competed in the 24H Le Mans, first ever Indian to complete the full race. And now he becomes the first ever driver to complete the race twice with him driving for Murphy Prototypes in the LMP2 category this year. Along with the 24H drive, for this season he has been driving in the FIA GT Series for Seyffarth Motorsport team in the PRO category with Jay Seyffarth his partner. Till now, his season has been a good one with them scoring points in all the races so far. Karun has been driving well like he did in the endurance series last season, he has quickly adapted to the different series which is a good sign from driving point of view. He stands 7th in the championship with 2 rounds to go, surely the aim would be to get into the top 5 by the end. It is achievable with the good run of points finish in the coming two rounds.
Armaan Ebrahim - Armaan had a pretty bumpy ride last season with him leaving Indy Lights series & his team Fan Force United midway during the championship. The reason is not clear, either it is monetary issue or it is that he was not convinced with the car due to average results. He moved to FIA GT1 series and raced in only race and then after he was busy promoting Indian motorsport with his association with JK Tyre. For this season he drives in FIA GT series in the PRO-AM category with BMW Sports Trophy Team India, the same series where Karun drives. Armaan has had a good season till now, having secured a podium finish as well in his category. Most importantly that he has driven in all the rounds taken place till now. Currently he has been place at P10 in the category and surely he would hope to maintain the top 10 finish and try to move up the order with 2 rounds remaining.
Aditya Patel - Aditya was driving in the VLN series last year and for this year he shifted to ADAC GT Masters, racing for MS Racing. This being his first year in this series, he has done a decent job till now. His season highlight till now will be a P6 position scoring his first points in Race 1 at Sachsenring. Apart from that he has been finishing all the races apart from one instance which shows the reliability & durability. He currently sits at P30 which is a bit down but with two rounds to go, he would certainly want to score more points and finish a bit higher up in the championship.
Sailesh Bolisetti - Sailesh drove in the British GT last season with him moving to NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for this season. He drives a Chevrolet SS for Forza Motorsport. He has been having an up & down season till now which is understandable. His highlight will be the two top ten finishes in Brands Hatch in Round 3 of the series. He has finished in all the races till now which is a good sign as well. He sits in P16 out of 36 drivers which in itself is some achievement. With two rounds to go, he would certainly hope to break into the top 10 of the championship.
We've actually got two Indians racing in the FIA GT Series this season; Karun Chandok in the Pro Cup and Armaan Ebrahim in the Pro-Am Cup. It is best to think of the cups as classes - just to avoid confusion.
I have always followed Karun Chandhok's career very closely because he is one of my favourite drivers. Even during his British F3 and A1GP days I was analysing his career with great interest. I believe that Karun was due to take the 2012 Caterham seat from Jarno Trulli, but the relationship broke down when Caterham decided against running him in the 2011 Indian GP. It is my opinion that Karun was very upset by this and just wanted to leave - and now, he seems happier than ever before. I'm delighted for him. Not only does he enjoy closed-wheel racing, but it also seems to really suit him too, he was pretty much quick straight away when he began in the 2012 World Endurance Championship. Karun now races for German team Seyffarth Motorsport in the FIA GT Series and he is still showing signs of improvement, as he has done since he began racing closed-wheel cars. His last race at Zandvoort in the Netherlands produced his best result in the FIA GT Series to date with a good 4th place in the championship race.
I think the future is quite bright for Karun. I honestly believe that sooner rather than later he will get a drive in the World Endurance Championship for Audi, Toyota or new-team Porsche in LPM1 which would give the Indian a shot at winning the World famous 24 hours of Le Mans!
Meanwhile, also in the FIA GT Series, Armaan Ebrahim has his own team essentially: BMW Sports Trophy Team India! Okay, it is not exactly his team - he is not the owner ... but he is the person who brings the sponsorship for the team to be called BMW Sports Trophy Team India and give car to have a lovely Indian-livery.
Aditya Patel is taking part in the GT Masters series this season. Please note, this is a different series to the FIA GT Series. Five out of eight races have been completed so far and Aditya is having a decent enough season with Austrian-teammate Daniel Dobitsch for German-team MS Racing in what is a very, very competitive grid. What I am most interested to see from Aditya is where he goes from here. Many drivers enter the GT Masters series when they are coming towards the end of their careers - for some, it is more about the driving itself rather than the championship and as such there is no clear progression from this series. Having said that, the FIA GT Series may be a destination for the 25-year old.
There are four championships races to go this season, and if Sailesh can break into the top ten in the elite championship and the top 15 in the open championship - that will round off a very good season indeed.
Aditya Patel - 12th overall.
Aditya Patel - 5th overall.
Sailesh Bolisetti - 15th overall.
Oshan Kothadiya - 20th overall.
This series really is a cracking way for Indians to forge a career in Europe as demonstrated by Aditya and Sailesh who have now left this series but are still racing within Europe.
Back to Ambalavanar Sandeep Kumar, he currently sits 16th in the championship out of 20 drivers - but it is quite a close championship and with a little luck Ambalavanar could find himself in the top 10 come the end of the season. With only three races to go, the Indian will be hoping to beat Aditya Patel who achieved the highest championship finish of any Indian on their debut season (12th).