• Wins for Goutham Parekh, Raghul Rangasamy in MRF F1600
  • Arjun Narendran notches double in ITC category

Chennai: Classy Arjun Narendran from Coimbatore (Arka Motorsports) underlined his dominance by achieving a double in the premier Indian Touring Cars category while Goutham Parekh and Raghul Rangasamy split the two races in the MRF F1600 class as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship concluded at the MMRT here on Sunday.

With the championship winner in the MRF F1600 eligible for the Mazda Road To Indy shootout in the United States later this year, there was considerable jockeying for points. At the end of the triple-header this weekend, 19-year old Arjun Datta maintained his overall lead with 96 points after two rounds, ahead of Rangasamy (84), Parekh (68) and Sandeep Kumar (67). With two more rounds and six races to be run in the coming weeks, the championship is wide open.

The first race in the MRF F1600 was a stop-go affair due to two stoppages following collisions and was reduced to a total of five laps. Chennai-based Parekh, first runner-up in 2015 season before taking a two-year break, started fourth on the reverse grid and moved to the front with Sandeep Kumar and Nabil Hussain in close attendance. The order remained unchanged as they crossed the finish line.

In contrast, the second MRF F1600 race ran its course of eight laps without incidents as 25-year old Rangasamy, starting from pole position, gradually pulled away from Parekh while behind them, Datta managed to hold off Sandeep Kumar to complete the podium. For Rangasamy, who hails from the nearby temple town of Mamallapuram, it was his first-ever win in the championship.

Earlier, Arjun Narendran gave yet another fine exhibition of his driving skills to score a double with an easy win. His win today was far more comfortable than Saturday’s. The defending champion was off a great start from fourth position on the reverse grid as he made three places in the very first lap with bold overtaking to get his nose in front. Behind him, Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) took a while to move from third to second by which time, Narendran had opened up a sizeable lead.

Balu finally worked his way into second spot, but after three laps, going into the Bridge Complex “S”, the engine blew forcing him to retire. It left Narendran all alone in the front as he crossed the finish line well ahead of team-mates Ashish Ramaswamy and N Leelakrishnan. The second-place finish fetched Ramaswamy 18 more points that helped him maintain his championship lead with 101 points.

“I had a good start and managed to get past the three cars in front in the very first lap. I put in some consistent laps and increase my lead. After three laps, I couldn’t see anyone in the rearview mirror as Arjun (Balu) uncle retired, but I wasn’t sure why. So, I guess, it was comfortable in the end. I am not sure about my participation in the rest of the season due to personal reasons, but today, I am happy that my team had a clean podium sweep,” said Narendran.

Also achieving a double this weekend were Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar of Race Concepts (Super Stock), Vinod Subramaniam from Erode (Performance Racing) in the Esteem Cup and Goanese Chrys D’Souza (Unikek Racing) in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category.

The two Volkswagen Ameo Cup races today saw different winners with Ghaziabad’s Jeet Jhabakh and championship leader Dhruv Mohite from Kolhapur taking the honours, both surviving close competition.

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

MRF F1600 (Race 2, 5 laps): 1. Goutham Parekh (Chennai) (10mins, 35.884secs); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (10:37.360); 3. Nabil Hussain (Chennai) (10:40.124). Race 3: 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Kancheepuram) (13:37.431); 2. Goutham Parekh (Chennai)(13:39.405); 3. Ashwin Datta (Chenna) (13:41.178).

Indian Touring Cars (Race 2): 1. Arjun Narendran (15:19.822); 2. Ashish Ramaswamy (15:36.340); 3. N Leelakrishnan (15:43.649) (all Arka Motorsports).

Super Stock (Race 2): 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (15:56.865); 2. RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) (16:27.612); 3. Prateek Benya (Race Concepts) (16:46.478).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 2): 1. Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing) (16:59.758); 2. Nikunj Wagh (Team N1) (17:11.890); 3. Prabhu AS (Arka Motorsports) (17:29.380).

Esteem Cup (Race 2): 1. Vinod Subramaniam (Team N1) (16:45.670); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (16:54.011).

Turbo (Support race): 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai) (15:36.003); 2. Rayomand Banajee (Mumbai) (15:47.296); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (Hyderabad) (15:52.239).

Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race 2, 7 laps): 1. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (13:52.343); 2. Anmol Singh Sahil (Ghaziabad) (13:54.899); 3. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) (13:58.911). Race 3: 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kohlapur)(18:13.727); 2. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (18:17.603); 3. Amol Singh Sahil (Gaziabad) (18:18:068).

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