Shahan Ali Mohsin emerges champ in MRF F1600

PODIUM PICTURE (National Champions)
  • Shahan Ali Mohsin emerges champ in MRF F1600
  • Arjun Balu, Tijil Rao retain titles
  • Sandeep Kumar clinches VW Polo crown

Chennai, February 13: Agra teenager Shahan Ali Mohsin won the biggest prize of his blossoming career in the senior section as he annexed the title in the premier MRF F1600 category to finish the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2021 on a high at the MMRT, here on Sunday.

Also annexing the National titles in their respective categories were Bengaluru’s Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) in the Formula LGB 1300, Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) from Coimbatore in the Indian Touring Cars, Chennai’s Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing) in Super Stock, Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing), also from Chennai, in Indian Junior Touring Cars, Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) in Volkswagen Polo and Mumbai’s Fahad Kutty (Redline Racing) in MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios).

Shahan, 17, survived a roller-coaster season that included a DNF (did not finish), to win the championship. In the final race which he went in with a two-point advantage, Shahan came in second behind Bengaluru’s Rishon Rajeev, who thus completed a double, but crucially, ahead of another Bengalurean Chirag Ghorpade.

Shahan Ali Mohsin celebrating his championship win in the MRF F1600 category (Feb 13)

The result meant that Shahan, winner of the Asian Karting championship in 2016, finished on 194 points and four wins, while Chirag ended second on 189 (2 wins) and Rishon (172, 2 wins) was placed third in the championship.

Earlier, defending champion Coimbatore’s 47-year old Arjun Balu, who made his racing debut in 1992, ended the season on an emphatic note by completing a double to take his tally to six wins in eight starts to win the championship in the ITC category. It was his 10th National title. In the final race today, Balu, starting third on the reverse grid behind the Rayo Racing pair from Hyderabad, Ishaan Dodhiwala and Jeet Jhabakh, bided his time before easing his way to the front for a commanding win. The Coimbatore veteran’s searing pace was evident as he clocked a best lap of one minute, 50.076 seconds in the eighth of the 10-lap race.

Arjun Balu (No.39) on way to winning the Indian Touring Cars race for a double (Feb 13)

Meanwhile, two second place finishes proved sufficient for Chennai’s Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala to claim the title in the IJTC category, though, following a protest, the final outcome is awaited.

The title in the Super Stock class was already pocketed by Deepak Ravikumar on conclusion of the third round last month. He finished this weekend with a second place and a win, his sixth of the season.

Tijil Rao, the 18-year old from Bengaluru, played it smart and safe to finish second in a race that was red-flagged twice and the number of laps reduced to seven. Prior to that, last year’s winner Tijil displayed amazing pace to move from P12 at the start on the reverse grid to P1 before tucking himself just behind the front-runners to avoid close racing. The experienced Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) won the race ahead of Tijil and Deepak Ravikumar (Momentum Motorsport).

Tijil Rao, winner of the Formula LGB 1300 championship (Feb 13)

The results (all 10 laps unless mentioned):

MRF Formula 1600 (Race-2): 1. Rishon Rajeev (Bengaluru) (19mins,11.167secs); 2. Shahan Ali Mohsin (Agra) (19:13.495); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (19:15.714). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Rishon Rajeev (Bengaluru) (16:36.017); 2. Shahan Ali Mohsin (16:36.781); 3. Chirag Ghorpade (Bengaluru) (16:37.188). National champion: Shahan Ali Mohsin (Agra).

Indian Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts, Coimbatore) (19:03.534); 2. Ishaan Dodhiwala (Rayo Racing, Hyderabad) (19:07.781); 3. Jeet Jhabakh (Rayo Racing, Hyderabad) (19:12.281). National champion: Arjun Balu (Race Concepts, Coimbatore).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts, Bengaluru) (19:51.297); 2. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing, Chennai) (20:34.450); 3. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing, Chennai) (20:34.620). National champion (Provisional): Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing).

Super Stock (Race-2): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing, Chennai) (20:11.966); 2. RP Raja Rajan (Performance Racing, Chennai) (20:31.732); 3. Suprej Venkat (Race Concepts, Coimbatore) (20:47.678). National champion: Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing, Chennai).

Formula LGB 1300 (Race-2, 7 laps): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport, Chennai) (13:36.695); 2. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport, Bengaluru) (13:37.163); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Momentum Motorsport, Chennai) (13:41.072). National champion: Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport, Bengaluru). Team Championship: Momentum Motorsport.

Volkswagen Polo (Race-2): 1. Avik Anwar (Bangladesh) (22:45.394); 2. Sourav Bandopadhyay (Thane) (22:45.790); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) (22:46.397). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Anmol Singh Sahil (Ghaziabad) (15:49.022); 2. Oshan Kothadiya (Pune) (15:55.239); 3. Sai Sanjay TS (Salem) (15:55.929). National Champion: Sandeep Kumar (Chennai).

MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) Race-3: 1. Fahad Kutty (Redline Racing, Mumbai) (16:44.973); 2. Anand Prasad (Redline Racing, Chennai) (16:45.559); 3. Justin Singh (Redline Racing, New Delhi) (16:50.139). National champion: Fahad Kutty (Redline Racing, Mumbai).

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