Sai Sanjay and Chirag Ghorpade top MRF F2000 race, Diljith S wins LGB 1300 class, Arjun Balu, Ritesh Rai, Justin Singh and Zahan Commissariat notch wins in their respective classes.
Bengaluru teenager Chirag Ghorpade, Salem’s Sai Sanjay top in MRF F2000 race. Thrissur’s Diljith Shaji took the honours in the Formula LGB 1300 class. Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu from Race Concepts put in near-flawless performances for commanding win in the ITC class before heavy rains led to abandonment on day two of the first round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 at the Madras International Circuit. Continuous rains from 12.30 pm onwards on day two forced to cancel the remaining races.
Race1,Sai Sanjay 19 from Salem, started from P2 on the grid and after a good start, moved into the lead. He then defended his position with aplomb despite coming under pressure from Agra’s Shahan Ali Mohsin for much of the 10-lap race for a deserving win. Shahan Ali, last year’s MRF F1600 champion, had to be content with second place after starting from P4, while Yash Aradhya came in third, holding off pole-sitter and fellow-Bengalurean Rishon Rajeev, as Rishon crawled at the start,
Race2, Bengaluru boy Chirag, 17, led from the front after starting from pole position on the reverse grid and barely had to look in the rear view mirrors as he opened up a big gap in the very first lap.
Such was his pace that was not apparent in yesterday’s Race-1 where he finished eighth, that he made an untroubled progress through the 12 laps that was briefly interrupted by a Safety Car period. Chirag made a well-timed getaway on restart and eventually spared four seconds to second-placed Rishon Rajeev from Bengaluru with Chennai’s Dillon Thomas Zachariah finishing third.
The eight-lapper, after much jostling in the early stages, settled down with the 29 year old Diljith from Thrissur representing DTS Racing forging his way to the front followed by his teammate Viswas Vijayaraj from Nellore in second position with a difference of 4sec, while Bengaluru’s Arjun Nair from Momentum Motorsports was third, who did well to make four spots after starting from P7.
Coimbatore ace Arjun Balu, 47, the defending champion from Race Concepts (Bengaluru) stable, set the pace in the premier Indian Touring Cars category, by qualifying for pole position with a hot lap of 01min, 50.000secs. He was well ahead of 2017 winner, Arjun Narendran (01:52.560), also from Coimbatore, and who is returning to full-time racing after a five-year break.
The two Volkswagen Virtus cars, making their debut in the championship, and driven by Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad and Sandeep Kumar from Chennai were fourth and fifth, respectively, some 2.9 seconds off Balu’s pace.
Race1, it was an Arjun Balu show in the saloon cars race that was run on a combined 27-car grid comprising all three categories – the premier Indian Touring Cars, Indian Junior Touring Cars and Super Stock.
Balu, starting from pole, briefly slipped to second behind 2017 champion Arjun Narendran from Arka Motorsports, also from Coimbatore, after missing a gear-shift at the start. However, he swiftly moved to the front and increased the gap gradually for a comfortable win despite alternator failure and the car running only on battery power. Narendran finished second ahead of Rayo Racing’s Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad who was in the brand new Volkswagen Virtus which made its debut in the championship this weekend.
Chennai veteran Gurunath Meyyappan from Race Concepts, staging a return to racing after a prolonged break, took pole position in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category. Gurunath racing in the championship for the first time since 1999, topped the category, followed by team-mate Diana Pundole from Pune. However, both were disqualified following post-race scrutiny for a “technical infringement”. Chennai’s Anand Prasad from Performance Racing, thus, moved from third to first, ahead of team-mate K Srinivas Teja and Charen Chandran from Arka Motorsports, finishing in second and third respectively.
Chennai driver Ritesh Rai from Performance Racing won followed by DB Motorsports pair of Jason Deepak Saldanha from Mangaluru in second and Jarshan Anand from Chennai in third.
MRF Saloon cars:
Race1, In the day’s last race, 20-year old Justin Singh from Gurugram, claimed the honours with a lights-to-flag win ahead of Pune’s Diana Pundole and Angad Matharoo from Chandigarh.
Race2, The day’s other winner was Mumbai youngster Zahan Commissariat who claimed the honours which was red-flagged after five laps due to heavy rains. Angad Matharoo finished second while Jai Prashanth Venkat from Coimbatore completed the podium. Special awards were given to lady drivers Diana Pundole from Pune and Tarushi Vikram from Chikkamagalur for race 1 and for race 2 Shravanthika Lakshmi from Coimbatore and Tarushi were honoured.