Imola [Italy], Oct. 4 : Racer Mahaveer Raghunathan became the first Indian to win a European Racing Championship, when he sped to victory in the last two races of the Boss GP Championship (Formula Class) here at Imola late on Sunday night.
In a strong field of 20 racers from across the world, the 19-year-old Chennai youngster amassed 263 points in seven rounds to annex the title.
India's top racer Narain Karthikeyan had won the British Formula Ford in 1994 and the Formula Asia Series in 1996. Karun Chandhok too had won a couple of titles in Asia.
Mahaveer (PS Racing by Coloni Motorsport) had a spectacular season, bagging podium finishes in each of the seven rounds. He breezed to victory in the first race here on Sunday to set his date with destiny.
He enjoyed a massive stroke of good luck in the second race as his main rival, Italy's Salvatore de Plano (MM International Sport) pulled out of the race in the fourth lap. De Plano finished with 243 points taking the third place behind Austria's Johann Ledermair of (247 points).
"It was a lot of fun. I am absolutely thrilled that I could make it to P1 and then take the Championship as well," a jubilant Raghunath said after the podium ceremony. "This is amazing. It does wonders for my confidence. I want to give a huge thank you to my team at PS Racing by Coloni Motorsport," he added.
After learning the nuances of motorsport in karting, Mahaveer graduated to Formula cars in 2012 by competing in the JK Racing Asia Series. In 2013, he drove in the MRF Challenge Formula 1600. He also participated in three races of the Chinese Formula Masters.
In 2014, Mahaveer moved to Europe and joined F&M in the Italian Formula 4 Championship. In 2015, he participated in the European Formula 3 championship for Motopark Academy.
The 2016 season was his most productive with second overall finish in the Auto GP racing for Coloni's Italian team PS Racing.