- Sandeep Kumar, Karminder Singh share honours in Volkswagen Ameo Cup
Coimbatore, July 16: Deepak Paul Chinnappa of Race Concepts, Bengaluru, broke his Kari Motor Speedway jinx with a grand double in the premier Indian Touring Cars class on the concluding day of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship, here on Sunday.
Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) and Karminder Singh (Delhi) shared the top spots in the two Volkswagen Ameo Cup races which produced a lot of fireworks and action.Driving with panache and confidence, 30-year old Chinnappa had the measure of his two main rivals from Red Rooster Performance team, Ashish Ramaswamy, winner of the first race on Saturday, and defending champion Arjun Narendran, with a dominating performance.
“I have never won at this track since making my debut in this class three seasons ago. I have had issues with my car in the past, and this weekend was only slightly better, though problematic.
“I had to deal with the loss of power steering, two gears and brakes, but fortunately, everything came together for me and helped me break the Coimbatore jinx as I had never won here before,” said Chinnappa, son of two-wheeler legend Chandra Kumar Chinnappa.
In the first race, Chinnappa, who started from third, had a great start and by the end of first lap, he moved up two spots to the front and established a comfortable lead which he kept to the flag.
Behind him, Narendran who had moved from eighth to second by end of first lap and Ramaswamy, winner of Race-1 on Saturday, were involved in a tight battle. Exiting the last turn into the start-finish straight, Narendran spun viciously which dropped him to the back of the field. He fought his way back to third where he finished, behind Chinnappa and Ramaswamy.
“I had too much speed exiting the last corner and my rear tyres caught the dirt on the edge of the track which led to a huge spin. I managed to get back, but had lost track position. Still, I fought back, but had too much to make up in the end,” said Narendran.
In the next outing, Narendran, starting from pole, kept his position until the end of second lap when he ran wide exiting the last corner, and Chinnappa eased into lead to take command of the race. Narendran, who incidentally clocked the fastest laps in both the races today, then survived close attention from veteran Vidya Prakash (Prime Racing) to finish second.
“In both races, I had good starts and managed to keep the lead though I had issues with the brakes. In the second race today especially I tucked in behind Arjun in the first lap, but I realized he had some handling issues with his car. So, I waited for the right opportunity to pass him. He then ran wide exiting the last corner and I passed him. Thereafter, I managed to keep my lead and win. I am extremely happy,” said Chinnappa.
Indian Touring Cars – Race 2 (15 laps): 1.Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) (17mins, 48.438secs); 2. Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooster Performance) (17:54.561); 3. Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance) (17: 57.590). Race 3 (15 laps): 1. Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) (17:55.863); 2. Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance) (18:03.284); 3. D Vidya Prakash (Prime Racing) (18:25.280).
Volkswagen Ameo Cup – Race 1 (15 laps): 1.Karminder Singh (Delhi) (19:34.489); 2. A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (19:35.336); 3. Aditya Pawar (Mumbai) (19:46.022). Race 2: 1. A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (18:06.633); Karminder Singh (Delhi) (18:07.100); 3. Dhruv Mohite (18:08.009)