Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade tops MRF F2000 Race

Chirag Ghorpade, winner of the MRF F2000 Race-2 (Oct 9)
  • Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade tops MRF F2000 Race
  • Arjun Balu, Zahan Commissariat notch wins

Chennai, October 9: Bengaluru teenager Chirag Ghorpade and Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) put in near-flawless performances for commanding wins in their respective categories before heavy rains led to abandonment of the first round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 at the Madras International Circuit, here on Sunday.

The day’s other winner was Mumbai youngster Zahan Commissariat who claimed the honours in the MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) race which was red-flagged after five laps due to heavy rains.

Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade, who won the MRF F2000 Race-2 (Oct 9)

Chirag, 17, led from the front after starting from pole position on the reverse grid of the MRF F2000 category race and barely had to look in the rearview mirrors as he opened up a big gap in the very first lap.

Such was his pace that was not apparent in yesterday’s Race-1 where he finished eighth, that he made an untroubled progress through the 12 laps that was briefly interrupted by a Safety Car period. Chirag made a well-timed getaway on restart and eventually spared four seconds to second-placed Rishon Rajeev (Bengaluru) with Chennai’s Dillon Thomas Zachariah finishing third.

Later, it was an Arjun Balu show in the saloon cars race that was run on a combined 27-car grid comprising all three categories – the premier Indian Touring Cars, Indian Junior Touring Cars and Super Stock.

Balu, starting from pole, briefly slipped to second behind 2017 champion Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), also from Coimbatore, after missing a gear-shift at the start. However, he swiftly moved to the front and increased the gap gradually for a comfortable win despite alternator failure and the car running only on battery power.

Arjun Balu, winner of the Indian Touring Cars category race (Oct 9)

Narendran finished second ahead of Rayo Racing’s Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad who was in the brand new Volkswagen Virtus which made its debut in the championship this weekend.

Behind the front-runners, Chennai’s Gurunath Meiyappan (Race Concepts), racing in the championship for the first time since 1999, topped the IJTC category, followed by team-mate Diana Pundole (Pune). However, both were disqualified following post-race scrutiny for a “technical infringement”. Chennai’s Anand Prasad (Performance Racing), thus, moved from third to first, ahead of team-mate K Srinivas Teja and Charen Chandran (Arka Motorsports).

Ritesh Rai (Performance Racing), also from Chennai, won in the Super Stock class, followed by DB Motorsports pair of Jason Deepak Saldanha (Mangaluru) and Jarshan Anand (Chennai).

Zahan Commissariat (No.19) on way to winning the MRF Saloon (Toyota Etios) race (Oct 9)

Provisional results:

MRF F2000 (Race-2, 12 laps): 1. Chirag Ghorpade (Bengaluru) (21:09.735); 2. Rishon Rajeev (Bengaluru) (21:13.319); 3. Dillon Thomas Zachariah (Chennai) (21:15.235).

Indian Touring Cars (Race-1, 8 laps): 1. Arjun Balu (Coimbatore, Race Concepts) (15:14.085); 2. Arjun Narendran (Coimbatore, Arka Motorsports) (15:22.908); 3. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad, Rayo Racing) (15:39.557).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1, 8 laps): 1. Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) (16:05.841); 2. K Srinivasa Teja (Chennai, Performance Racing) (16:18.879); 3. Charen Chandran (Coimbatore, Arka Motorsports) (16:30.685).

Super Stock (Race-1, 8 laps): 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:19.989); 2. Jason Deepak Saldanha (Mangaluru, DB Motorsports) (15;22.778); 3. Jarshan Anand (Chennai, DB Motorsports) (15:58.631).

MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios – Race 2, 5 laps): 1. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai, Redline Racing) (10:44.711); 2. Angad Matharoo (Chandigarh, Redline Racing) (10:46.640); 3. Jai Prashanth Venkat (Coimbatore, Redline Racing) (10:50.412). Special awards for lady drivers (all Redline Racing): Race-1: Diana Pundole (Pune) and Tarushi Vikram (Chikkamgalur). Race-2: Shravanthika Lakshmi (Coimbatore) and Tarushi Vikram.


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