- Pole position for Sohil Shah, Ritesh Rai
Chennai, January 27: Bengaluru youngster Sohil Shah and Chennai’s Ritesh Rai grabbed pole position in the MRF Formula 2000 and Volkswagen Polo Cup categories, respectively, on the opening day of the fourth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 at the Madras International Circuit, here on Friday.
The 21-year old Shah set a best time of one minute, 31.668 seconds to qualify for the pole position ahead of championship leader Sai Sanjay from Salem (01:32.095) and Gurugram’s Divy Nandan (01:32.246). In fact, Sohil went quicker in the qualifying as compared to his time in the practice session (01:31.969) earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, 40-year old Chennai racer, Ritesh Rai, who is placed eighth in the championship, put in a hot lap of 01:56.000 to earn himself the pole position in the VW Polo Cup. Qualifying for P2 was Mumbai’s Pratik Sonawane (01:56.419) who heads the points table, while Raaj Bakhru (01:56.605), also from Mumbai, will start tomorrow’s race from P3.
Earlier, Coimbatore’s Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), placed second in the points table behind Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) warmed up for the double-header by topping the time sheets in the Indian Touring Cars practice session with a 01:52.389. Veteran Balu, the defending champion, had issues with an overheating engine after just two laps which forced him to pit.
Gurunath Meiyappan (Race Concepts, 01:54.901) and Ritesh Rai (Performance Racing, 02:03.252) were the fastest in the practice session for Indian Junior Touring Cars and Super Stock categories, respectively.
Championship contender in the Formula LGB 1300, Viswas Vijayraj from Nellore (DTS Racing) was the fastest in the practice sessions with a best lap of 01:51.451. Behind him were team-mate Diljith TS (01:51.533) from Thrissur and championship leader Mamallapuram’s Raghul Rangasamy (01:51.698) of MSport.
Gurugram’s Justin Singh, who heads the points table, was the fastest in practice for the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) category, clocking 02:02.427.
The results (Qualifying – top 3):
MRF F2000: 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (1:31.668); 2. Sai Sanjay (Salem) (1:32.095); 3. Divy Nandan (Gurugram) (1:32.246).
Volkswagen Polo Cup: 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai) (1:56.000); 2. Pratik Sonawane (Mumbai) (1:56.419); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (1:56.605).