Chennai, August 19: The expected intense battles in the two premium classes did not materialize as Sandeep Kumar and Arjun Narendran cruised to comfortable victories in the MRF F1600 and the Indian Touring Cars categories, respectively, in the fourth round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT track on Saturday.
In contrast, competition was at its fiercest in other categories. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) topped the saloon car race after an initial blip, while Bengaluru schoolboy Yash Aradhya, only 14, and Pune’s 18-year old engineering student Aanjan Patodia, both of Team Momentum Motorsports, fought tooth and nail to win a race apiece in both the categories (Open and Rookie) of the double-header Formula LGB 1300.In the other categories of the saloon cars, Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) and Hashim EKP (DTS Racing) emerged comfortable winners in the Super Stock and Indian Junior Touring Cars, respectively.
Sourav Bandyopadhyay from Mumbai pulled off a fine win in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup, pushing championship leader Karminder Singh (Delhi) to second place while Sandeep Kumar completed the podium.
The MRF FF1600 race turned out to be disappointing especially after pole-sitter and championship leader Anindith Reddy (Hyderabad) pitted at the end of Lap 1 to repair a damaged nose cone following a contact with Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar at the start of the race.
Reddy, on rejoining the race, finished a lap down in fifth while Sandeep won untroubled leaving Chennai’s Chetan Korada and Kolkata schoolboy Arya Singh to scrap for the other two podium spots.
The spotlight was also on the Indian Touring Cars where Coimbatore-based defending champion Arjun Narendran and Bengaluru’s Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts), the championship leader, were expected to repeat their Round 3 battle which, however, fizzled out. Chinnappa packed up when the timing belt snapped at the end of the first of the 15 laps.
It left the field wide open for Narendran to exploit with his nearest challenger and team-mate Ashish Ramaswamy from Bengaluru struggling with a car bleeding power. With five others too retiring, Narendran cruised home to victory ahead of Ramaswamy. The win, his second in a row, took Narendran (119 points) within striking distance of Chinnappa (136).
The results (Provisional – all 15 laps unless mentioned):
MRF FF1600 (Race 1): 1. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (15mins, 01.880secs); 2. Chetan Korada (Chennai) (15:10.711); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (15:11.709).
Indian Touring Cars – Race 1: 1.Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance) (16:50.960); 2. Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooster Performance) (17: 02.745); 3. C Raja Ram (Prime Racing) (17:26.277).
Saloon Cars (Race 1) – Esteem: 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (17:49.329); 2. Narendran (RAD Racing) (17: 51.486); 3. Ananth Pithawala (Team N1) (17: 59.385).
Super Stock: 1. Varun V Anekar (Race Concepts) (18:12.176); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Quickshift Racing) (18:33.902); 3. Bala Vijay B (Performance Racing) (18:42.584).
Indian Junior Touring Cars: 1. Hisham EKP (DTS Racing) (18: 15.268); 2. Mikhail Merchant (Team Game Over) (18:27.330); 3. Prabhu AS (Red Rooster Performance) (18:35.509).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race 1, 13 laps) – Open: 1. Yash Aradhya (Momentum Motorsports) (16:14.230); 2. Aanjan Patodia (Momentum Motorsports) (16:14.778); 3. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) (16:16.906). Rookie: 1. Yash Aradhya; 2. Aanjan Patodia; 3. Arya Singh.
Race 2 (Open): Aanjan Patodia (Momentum Motorsports) (16:35.848); 2. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) (16:40.056); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Wallace Sports) (16:48.463). Rookie: 1. Aanjan Patodia; 2. Arya Singh; 3. Yash Aradhya (Momentum Motorsports) (16:48.495).
Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race 1): 1. Sourav Bandyopadya (Mumbai) (16:05.858); 2.Karminder Singh (Delhi) (16:13.204); 3. A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (16: 14.485).