German Sebastian Balthasar takes pole position at the MRF Challenge series in Chennai
Chennai, January 23 (IANS)
Sebastian Balthasar, the 18-year-old German, snatched the pole position for the first of the four races in the concluding round of the MRF Challenge series after the qualifying session, here on Friday.
GP3 driver Balthasar, who had made a brief appearance in this series two seasons ago, put in the fastest lap of one minute, 34.543 seconds, ahead of title contender Ryan Cullen of the UK (1:34.623) while championship leader Toby Sowery (1:34.865) was the fourth quickest, behind Oscar King (1:34.839).
However, Cullen's second best time of 1:34.753 saw him qualify for pole position for the third race, while Balthasar (1:34.753) will start second. The grid positions for the second and fourth races will be as per the results of the first and third races with top four positions reversed.
Among the Indians in the fray, 16-year-old Tarun Reddy (1:35.126) was the quickest and was fifth overall behind Sowery and ahead of Raj Bharath (1:35.144) while Mahaveer Raghunathan (1:36.538) qualified 12th and Lee Keshav (1:36.693) was last among 15 drivers.
The MRF Challenge series (Formula 2000) is being run concurrently with the MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship which comprises the MRF Formula Ford 1600 and Touring Cars (ITC, IJTC and Superstock).
In the qualifying session for the Indian Junior Touring Cars (IJTC), Ashish Ramaswamy from Bengaluru took the pole position, followed by Coimbatore's Sidharth B and Charen Chandran, both representing Red Rooster Racing.