• Raghul Rangasamy clinches MRF F1600 championship
  • Ashish Ramaswamy wins title in Indian Touring Cars

Chennai: Raghul Rangasamy, hailing from the nearby temple town of Mamallapuram, emerged champion in the coveted MRF Formula 1600 category as the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship 2018 concluded at the MMRT, here on Sunday. The title earned Rangasamy a ticket to this year’s Mazda Road To Indy shootout in the United States, a dream that the 25-year old pursued through the season.

With three podium finishes this weekend, Rangasamy, who led Goutham Parekh (Chennai) by 11 points at the start of the final round, did just enough to clinch the championship. Rangasamy’s final tally was 182 points (two wins, seven podiums) to Parekh’s 174 (two wins, six podiums). Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee completed a double, winning Race 1 and 3, while 16-year old schoolboy from Bengaluru Yash Aradhya, topped in Race 2, his second success in his debut season in this category.

Bengaluru’s 27-year old Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports), with his seventh consecutive podium finish of the season, annexed the championship in the premium Indian Touring Cars class with a tally of 167 points, edging out Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) by just six points. For Balu, who missed the first round of the season, it was so near yet so far as he finished second in the championship despite scoring a double in the final round this weekend and winning five races from seven starts.

Last year’s winner, Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), who was black-flagged for taking “external assistance” (taking assistance of the marshals to push his car) after a spin following a contact with Balu at Turn-2 in the very first lap today, ended up fourth in the championship behind his team-mate Nikanth Ram.

Rangasamy, who thrives on speed which induced him to take to racing rather late at 19, was delighted with his championship title, but said he would have loved to end the season with a win. “I feel great to win the championship and look forward to the Mazda Road To Indy shootout. I wanted to finish the season with a win, but happy that I took the title at this level considering that I started racing only when I was 19. I love speed and I gave up my medical studies after three years to pursue racing which I do just for my pleasure since at 25, I can’t think of a career in racing,” he said.

Ashish Ramaswamy, who had started the season with a double in the first round, said: “It has been a long wait for me to win my first-ever National Championship title. I had started the season well with a double in the first round, but two DNFs (Did Not Finish) thereafter, put me under pressure as I had to finish on podium in all the remaining races. I am absolutely thrilled and I thank my team Arka Motorsports and the mechs for the brilliant work they did these past months.”

The results (Provisional, all 8 laps):

MRF Formula 1600 (Race-2): 1. Yash Aradhya (Bengaluru) (16mins, 54.672secs); 2.Goutham Parekh (Chennai) 16:55.296); 3. Raghul Rangaswamy (Mamallapuram) (16:55.543). Race -3: 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (13:35.208); 2. Parekh (13:35.776); 3. Rangasamy (13:36.359). Champion: Raghul Rangasamy (182 points).

Indian Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concept) (15:22.974); 2. Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsport)(15:37.888); 3.D Vidya Prakash (Prime Racing) (15:38.145). Champion: Ashish Ramaswamy (167 points). Turbo cars: 1. Karthick Tharani (VW Motorsport) (15:26.077); 2. Rayomand Banajee (VW Motorsport) (15:40.141); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (VW Motorsport) (15:49.744).

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