Chirag Ghorpade (centre), winner of Race-3 in the MRF F1600 category, flanked by second-placed Viswas Vijayaraj (left) and third placed Ashwin Datta (Dec 12)
  • Two wins for Chirag Ghorpade in MRF F1600
  • Double for Arjun Balu, Charen Chandran

Chennai, December 12: Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) and Chirag Ghorpade, the schoolboy from Bengaluru, lit up the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2021 with dominating performances in their respective categories on a rain-marred Sunday at the MMRT here.

Chirag, who had won the first race in the MRF F1600 category on Saturday, topped the third today of the triple-header after local teenager Dillon Zacharaiah took the honours in the second outing for his maiden win in this class.

Balu, the 47-year old ace from Coimbatore, brought into play all his vast experience to complete a double in the premier Indian Touring Cars class after starting from P3 (reverse grid) in a “wet race” following a bout of heavy showers in the afternoon. Having won the first race yesterday, Balu, started behind two Rayo Racing polos of Anindith Reddy and Jeet Jhabakah and, played a waiting game before getting a jump on the two Hyderabad drivers for another brilliant win.

Dillon Zacharaiah celebrates his maiden win in the MRF F1600 category (Dec 12)

Earlier, Dillon, 18, drove a fine race starting from P2 on the reverse grid, to notch his maiden win in this class from a fast finishing Suriyavarathan (Coimbatore) and Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore).

Late in the evening, with light fast fading, Ghorpade scored a lights-to-flag win to complete a double, in a race that was reduced to six laps from the scheduled eight. Agra’s Shahan Ali Mohsin, who finished second, was later docked a 10-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane which pushed him to sixth. The penalty moved Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj to second place and Ashwin Datta (Chennai) to third.

Reflecting on his double and scoring his third win in four starts, Balu said: “A very special drive today. The odds were against me with two VW Polo cars in front and the conditions very tricky. But I had the confidence that I could pass both the cars and I thought I read the track conditions very well. Yes, a textbook drive it was.”

Also achieving a double was Coimbatore’s private entrant Charen Chandran who won both the races in the Super Stock category while Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) from Bengaluru ended Deepak Ravikumar’s (Performance Racing) winning streak in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class by winning Race-2 today.

Salem’s Sai Sanjay and Ritesh Rai (Chennai) won a race apiece in the Volkswagen Polo category double-header after surviving tight finishes.

Arjun Balu (No.39) on way to a double in the Indian Touring Cars category (Dec 12)

The seasoned Chennai driver Raghul Rangasamy (Quest Motorsport) took the honours in the Formula LGB 1300 race from P5 start ahead of Bengaluru’s Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) and Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) from Nellore.

Mumbai’s Fahad Kutty completed a profitable weekend as he won two of the three races and finished on podium in the other in the MRF Saloon Cars category.

The day’s programme was delayed due to bursts of rains overnight and this morning, but the track dried up quickly later in bright sunshine. The post-lunch session too was affected by sudden showers leading to some races being declared as “wet race”.

Dillon Zacharaiah, who scored his maiden win in MRF F1600 category (Dec 12)

The results (Provisional – all 8 laps unless mentioned):

MRF F1600 (Race-2): 1. Dillon Zacharaiah (Chennai) (16mins, 37.473secs); 2. Suriyavarathan (Coimbatore) (16:37.844); 3. Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore) (16:38.344). Race-3 (6 laps): 1. Chirag Ghorpade (Bengaluru) (10:37.982); 2. Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore) (10:45.318); 3. Ashwin Datta (Chennai) (10:45.995).

Indian Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts, Coimbatore) (17:00.366); 2. Jeet Jhabakh (Rayo Racing, Hyderabad) (17:09.508); 3. Anindith Reddy (Rayo Racing, Hyderabad) (17:09.774).

Super Stock (Race-2): 1. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts, Bengaluru) (18:32.647); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing, Chennai) (18:33.644); 3. RP Raja Rajan (Performance Racing, Chennai) (18:50.454).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Charen Chandran (Pvt, Coimbatore) (18:03.480); 2. K Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing, Chennai) (18:07.131); 3. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing, Chennai) (18:11.507).

Formula LGB 1300 (Race-2): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport, Chennai) (19:34.504); 2. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport, Bengaluru) (19:36.053); 3. Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing, Nellore) (19:40.848).

Volkswagen Polo (Race-1): 1. Sai Sanjay TS (Salem) (16:45.578); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (16:46.427); 3. Sourav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) (16:53.278). Race-2: 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai) (16:57.162); 2. Avik Anwar (Bangladesh) (16:57.729); 3. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (16:58.533).

MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios – Race 3, 4 laps): 1. Fahad Kutty (Red Line Racing, Mumbai) (12:11.978); 2. Jamie Shaw (Red Line Racing, Mumbai) (12:16.327); 3. Jai Prashant Venkat (Red Line Racing, Coimbatore) (12:16.595).

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