Chennai: Raghul Rangasamy converted his pole position into a commanding victory to head the MRF F1600 class leaderboard in the fourth round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT, here on Saturday.
As well as 25-year old Rangasamy drove, the spotlight also fell on Coimbatore’s Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) who won a tight and thrilling race in the high-end Indian Touring Cars class while his team-mate Varun Anekar from Bengaluru who started ninth and from the pit-lane, finished first in the Super Stock category.
The Formula LGB 1300 double-header produced two different winners in Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports) from Chennai and Sohil Shah (M Sport) from Bengaluru. The results put Shah at the top of the championship standings in this class with a tally of 126 points to Datta’s 123 with the third title contender Nabil Hussain (M Sport), also from Chennai, on 117, going into the final round next month.
Rangasamy of Mamallapuram moved past championship leader Ashwin Datta who finished a distant eighth. Ahead of the two races to be run tomorrow, Rangasamy has 109 points to Datta’s 100. The championship winner at the end of the season, earns a ticket to the Mazda Road To Indy shootout in the United States this winter.
Summing up his win, Rangasamy said:“I started thinking what I would say at the post-race interview and stuff like that. As my thoughts wandered, so did the pace. Suddenly, I saw Sandeep Kumar (who finished second) catching up and it woke me up! I am absolutely exhausted! I am not a gym person like others drivers. I reacted a bit late to the lights at the start, but otherwise, it was a good launch and I quickly built up a big lead.”
The day also belonged to Arjun Balu who scored his third lights-to-flag victory of the season in the ITC category, holding off last year’s champion Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsport), also from Coimbatore, in a heart-stopping eight-lap race. The duo dueled hard and in the sixth lap, Narendran made a move on the outside at Turn-4. The pair made contact and Narendran ran wide which gave Balu the respite to take a firm lead to the finish.
Balu said: “It was a tough race right through. Arjun was on my tail for much of the race, but I managed to soak up the pressure. In the latter half of the race, he caught up and tried to pass me on the outside at Turn-4, but we made contact. He went a bit wide and I managed to keep my lead to the finish line.”
The win took Balu to second on the leaderboard with 93 points while Narendran, who missed two rounds, is on 68 while Bengaluru’s Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsport) who finished third today, continues to lead with 116 points, going into tomorrow’s Race-2.
Dhruv Mohite from Kolhapur notched his fourth win in six starts in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup race ahead of Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai) and Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad).
The results (Provisional, all 8 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F1600 (Race-1): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (13mins, 36.906secs); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (13:39.058); 3. Nirmal Uma Shanker (13:43.654).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-1): S Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsport) (15:20.086); 2. Sohil Shah (M Sport) (15:21.981); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (DTS Racing) (15:29.673). Race-2: 1. Sohil Shah (M Sport) (17:33.648); 2.A Balaprasath (DTS Racing) (17:34.089); 3. S Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports) (17:34.455).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1): Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (15:13.033); 2. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsport) (15:13.987); 3. Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsport) (15:27.015). Turbo (Race-1): 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai) (15:23.854); 2. Rayomand Banajee (Mumbai) (15:38.143); 3. Ishan Dodhiwala (Hyderabad) (15:39.252).
Super Stock (Race-1): 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (16:14.596); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Infinite Piston) (16:27.106); 3. Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing) (16:44.359).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Prabhu AS (Arka Motorspor) (17:06.590); 2. Nikunj Vagh (Team N1) (17:18.579); 3. Chris Desouza (Unimek Racing) (17:29.153).
Esteem Cup (Race-1): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (16:51.582); 2. Vinod Subramaniam (Team N1) (17:01.644); 3. Biren PIthawalla (Team N1) (17:01.645);
Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race-2): 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kolhapur) (15:38.719); 2. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai) (15:43.499); 3. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (15:43.879). Race 3: 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kolhapur) (15:38.206); 2. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai) (15:45.963); 3. Shubhomoy Ball (Bengaluru) (15:48.007).