• Sandeep Kumar grabs pole in MRF F1600
  • Arjun Narendran heads front row in Indian Touring Cars

Chennai: Local lad Sandeep Kumar, 24, put the hammer down by grabbing pole position in the MRF F1600 class as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship commenced at the MMRT, here on Friday with qualifying sessions.

Sandeep, a practicing corporate lawyer in Chennai, had finished first runner-up in the MRF F1600 last year, thus missing a ticket to the Mazda Road To Indy shootout, and is determined to go one better this time. “I pushed really hard today, almost to the very limit,” said Sandeep after posting a best lap of one minute, 39.999 seconds around the 3.716 Kms track to set himself up for this weekend’s triple-header.

Sharing the front row with Sandeep is another Chennai driver, Nirmal Umashanker (01:40.310) ahead of Goa’s Keith D’Souza (01:40.069) while championship leader 19-year old Ashwin Datta who had won all the three races in the previous round in Coimbatore, will start eighth on the grid after posting a best of 01:40.685.

Meanwhile, defending champion in the premier Indian Touring Cars class, Arjun Narendran (ARKA Motorsports) from Coimbatore, having missed the previous rounds, made an immediate impact on his return to racing by posting pole winning time of 01:52.053, edging veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts), also from Coimbatore, who had won both the races in the previous round. Balu, in his first season in five years, clocked 01:52.053 ahead of championship leader Bengaluru’s Ashish Ramaswamy (ARKA Motorsports) who did 01:53.177.

Qualifying for Pole position in other categories were: Nikunj Vagh of Team N1 (Indian Junior Touring Cars) from Mumbai, Varun Anekar of Race Concepts (Super Stock) from Bengaluru and Vinod S of Team N1 (Esteem Cup) from Erode.

Dhruv Mohite from Kolhapur, leader in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup following his double in Coimbatore round last month, took pole position ahead of Thane’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay and Anmol Singh Sahil from Ghaziabad.

The results (qualifying):

MRF F1600: 1. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (01min, 39.999secs); 2. Nirmal Umashanker (Chennai) (01:40.045); 3. Keith D’Souza (Goa) (01:40.069).

Indian Touring Cars: 1. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) (01:52.053); 2. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (01:52.350); 3. Ashish Ramasamy (Arka Motorsports) (01:53.177).

Indian Junior Touring Cars: 1. Nikunj Vagh (Team N1) (02: 04.493); 2. Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing) (02:06.663);3. Prabu AS (Arka Motors) (02:06.684).

Super Stock: 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (01:58.143); 2. Abhinay Bikkani (Race Concepts)(01:59.945); 3. K. Srinivasa Teja (Performance Racing) (02:00.026).

Esteem Cup: 1. S Vinod (Team N1) (02:01.642); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (02:02.600); 3. Alisha Abdullah (Infinite Piston) (02:06.878).

Volkswagen Ameo Cup: 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kohlapur) (01:54.713); 2. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) (01:55.197); 3. Anmol Singh Sahil (Ghaziabad)(01:55.326).

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