South African Jeffrey Kruger is currently competing in the Polo R-Cup one-make series in India. The Johannesburger added to his win tally by taking a hat-trick of wins at round three held this past weekend.
Held at the Buddh International Circuit near Delhi, which also hosts India’s only Formula race, round three consisted of three races. Kruger showed his dominance over the field by claiming pole position for two of the three heats. He placed eighth for the start of the second heat due to an inverted grid scenario.
He led race one from the front and took his third win of the season, ending the race over 10 seconds from his nearest rival and title contender Rahil Noorani. Angad Singh was placed third.
The start of race two was delayed by rainy conditions. When proceedings eventually got under way, Kruger carefully picked his way past the cars in front, a task made tricky by the wet conditions underfoot. By lap five, he found himself leading the pack, but a last-minute safety-car period ensured that he could not build a significant lead. The safety car left the track with one lap left to race which made it a sprint to the line. Kruger again lead the field as the flag dropped. He was joined on the podium by Prashanth Tharani and Yatin Magu.
With two wins already under his belt for the day, the engineering student from Gauteng had his tail up and charged away from pole position in race three. He didn’t look back and the chasing pack didn’t get a sniff as he built a commanding 22,4-second lead to claim a hat-trick of wins. Kartik Tharani and Keshav Gupta shared the podium celebrations.
Kruger commented after the race: "I raced here at the end of last year as a guest driver and I was really eager to return as it is such an honour to race on a Formula One circuit. The weekend proved to be a great success as I not only extended my lead in the championship but finally got my car sorted as it has been underpowered for the first half of the season.
"I need to give thanks to my parents for allowing me to compete internationally and to all my new and old supporters locally and in India. I feel like a bit of a celebrity over here,” he said jokingly.
Kruger has a healthy lead in the title race and will be hoping to wrap up the title in style at the final round which takes place at the same circuit on the weekend of 1 December.