- Sandeep Kumar, Arjun Narendran score fluent wins
- Teenagers Nabil Hussain, Sohil Shah top in Formula LGB 1300
Chennai: Sandeep Kumar (MRF F1600) and Arjun Narendran (Indian Touring Cars) chalked up impressive victories to grab the spotlight in the third round of MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT, here on Saturday.
Starting from pole position, Sandeep Kumar, 24, from Chennai, won virtually untroubled though he trailed Nirmal Umashankar briefly before moving into the lead midway through the first of the eight-lap race. Nirmal, a 16-year old also from Chennai started second on the grid but was subsequently penalised for a jump-start with a drive-through which he failed to obey leading to a 30-second penalty which placed him 12th and last after a spin at Turn-1. Sandeep barely turned a wheel wrong to emerge a comfortable winner.
“It was tough at the start as Nirmal got past me when the lights went out. But I took him midway through the first lap itself and after he spun, I had a good lead. The win helped me to earn some big points (25) after my disappointing run in the first round last month when I finished fourth and had two DNFs in the next two races. Tomorrow, we have two more races and I hope to pick up more points,” said Sandeep, a practicing Corporate lawyer.
Further down the grid, championship leader Ashwin Datta, 19, who had scored a triple in the previous round at Coimbatore, got stuck in the mid-grid bunch and finished a distant seventh in his maiden race at the MMRT while Raghul Rangasamy and Goutham Parekh came in second and third.
An equally impressive winner was Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), the defending champion in the Indian Touring Cars, as he vanquished seasoned Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) in a battle between two Coimbatore stars. Narendran, after sitting out the earlier two rounds, marked his return with a brilliant drive to beat Balu, who had a double in the previous outing at Coimbatore last month. Finishing behind Narendran and Balu was Bengaluru’s Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports) who continues to lead the points table with a tally of 83.
Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar led a 1-2 finish for Race Concepts team in the Super Stock class with Abhinay Bikkani in tow and K Srinivasa Teja (Performance Racing) completing the podium. Goa’s Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing), Vinod Subramaniam from Erode (Team N1) topped the Indian Junior Touring Cars and Esteem Cup category, respectively, and which were run concurrently with the Super Stock class.
Meanwhile, the Formula LGB 1300 double-header today saw two young guns and MSport team-mates Sohil Shah, 17, a schoolboy from Bengaluru and Chennai collegian Nabil Hussain, 19, winning a race apiece after coming through tight contests. Hussain, thus, consolidated his top position on the leaderboard with 95 points, followed by Shah and Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports), both tied on 83.
Thane’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay, who started second on the grid, notched his third career win in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup with a measure of comfort after initial fight. Finishing behind him were Anmol Singh Sahil from Ghaziabad and pole-sitter Dhruv Mohite (Kolhapur).
The results (Provisional – all 8 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F1600 (Race 1): 1. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai)(13 mins,37.418sec); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Kancheepuram) (13:40.097); 3. Goutham Parekh (Chennai) (13:40.739).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race 1): 1. Sohil Shah (MSport) (15:03.149); 2. Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports) (15:06.013); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (DTS Racing) (15:06.469). Race 2 (7 laps): 1. Nabil Hussain (MSport) (13:20.115); 2. Sohil Shah (MSport) (13:20.567); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (DTS Racing) (13:22.308).
Indian Touring Cars (Race 1): 1. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) (15:12.873); 2. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (15:13.669); 3. Ashish Ramasamy (Arka Motorsports) (15:21.950).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 1): 1. Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing) (17:08.455); 2. Prabhu AS (Arka Motors) (17:42.363).
Super Stock (Race 1): 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (15:59.936); 2. Abhinay Bikkani (Race Concepts)(16:06.246); 3. K Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing)(16:20.505).
Esteem Cup (Race 1): 1. Vinod Subramaniam (Team N1) (16:43.970); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (17:03.467); 3. Alisha Abdullah (Infinite Piston) (17:34.220).
Turbo (Support Race 1): 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai) (15:26.086); 2. Rayomand Banajee (Mumbai) (15:41.006); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (Hyderabad) (15:42.859).
Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race 1): 1. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) (15:49.436); 2. Anmol Singh Sahil (Ghaziabad) (15:54.147): 3. Dhruv Mohite (Kohlapur) (15:54.203).