- Sohil Shah, Arjun Balu win comfortably
- Viswas Vijayraj scores in Formula LGB 1300
Chennai, January 28: Making the best use of his pole-position start, Bengaluru’s Sohil Shah roared to a big win, his second of the season, here on Saturday in the premier MRF Formula 2000 category as the fourth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 headed for a grand climax on the morrow at the Madras International Circuit.
Equally facile winner was Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) who hardly played a false note while orchestrating a massive victory, his fourth of the season, in the top-end Indian Touring Cars category.
Nellore’s Viswas Vijayraj (DTS Racing) also notched a fluent lights-to-flag win in the Formula LGB 1300 race to move within eight points of championship leader Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) from Mamallapuram who took the second spot ahead of Kolkata’s Arya Singh (Momentum Motorsports).
The win notwithstanding Sohil, 21, languishes sixth in the championship having missed five races earlier, while Salem’s Sai Sanjay finished second behind the Bengalurean with Divy Nandan (Gurugram) completing the podium. Sai Sanjay remained at the top of the leaderboard, enjoying a 34-point lead over Chennai’s Mohamed Ryan who finished fourth in today’s race.
Later, Balu was in a league of his own as he built up a commanding lead halfway into the first of the 10 laps after starting from pole position to make up for a disappointing third round a week back. Behind him, Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), also from Coimbatore, came in second, but remained 14 points adrift of Balu in the championship standings. In third was Rayo Racing’s Sandeep Kumar from Chennai.
Chennai racers dominated the Indian Junior Touring Cars category with Gurunath Meiyappan (Race Concepts) finishing ahead of Performance Racing pair of Akkineni Anand Prasad and Deepak Ravikumar. Consequently, Anand Prasad extended his championship lead to 22 points ahead of team-mate Raja Rajan.
Another Chennai driver, Ritesh Rai (Performance Racing) came through untroubled in the Super Stock category with Narendran S (Redline Racing) and Diljith TS (DTS Racing) following home in that order. Rai, thus, opened up a commanding 38-point lead over Narendran on the leaderboard.
Ritesh Rai and Avik Anwar from Dhaka, Bangladesh recorded their maiden win each in the Volkswagen Polo Cup double-header today. After winning the first race, Ritesh sat out the second that was won by Anwar, who has raced in the UAE and Malaysia, and is in his second season here. The win took Anwar (79 points) to third place in the championship behind Pratik Sonawane (89) and Raaj Bakhru (83) with two more races to be run on Sunday.
Later, Gurugram’s Justin Singh scored his fifth win of the season in the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) category that gave him a 23-point advantage with just one more race to be run on Sunday and a maximum of 25 points on offer.
The results (Provisional – all 8 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F2000 (Race-1): 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (12min, 31.381sec); 2. Sai Sanjay T (Salem) (12:36.091); 3. Divy Nandan (Gurugram) (12:39.156).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1, 10 laps): 1. Arjun Balu (Coimbatore, Race Concepts) (18:53.861); 2. Arjun Narendran (Coimbatore, Arka Motorsports) (18:57.871); 3. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai, Rayo Racing) (19:13.150).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1, 10 laps): 1. Gurunath Meiyappan (Chennai, Race Concepts) (19:37.194); 2. Akkineni Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:38.495); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:44.652).
Super Stock (Race-1, 9 laps): 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:00.108); 2. Narendran (Chennai, Redline Racing) (19:09.762); 3. Diljith TS (Thrissur, DTS Racing) (19:10.429).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-1): 1. Viswas Vijayraj (Nellore, DTS Racing) (15:06.216); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram, MSport) (15:13.825); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata, Momentum Motorsports) (15:13.984).
Volkswagen Polo Cup (Race-1): 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai) (15:49.646); 2. Pratik Sonawane (Mumbai) (15:52.970); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (15: 53.869). Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Avik Anwar (Dhaka, Bangladesh) (19:51.961); 2. Prashanth Tharani Singh (Chennai) (19:54.052); 3. Munjal Savla (Mumbai) (19:55.725).
MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios – Race-1): 1. Justin Singh (Gurugram) (16:29.741); 2. Diana Pundole (Pune) (16:30.531); 3. Commissariat (Mumbai) (16:36.259).