Sohil Shah, Prabhu clinch titles in national racing
Chennai, Sep 8 (PTI) Bengaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah capped a memorable debut season Saturday by winning the title in the Formula LGB 1300 category in the fifth and final round of the MRF-MMSC FMSCI National Racing Championship at MMRT track at nearby Sriperumbudur.
Namakkal's A S Prabhu (Arka Motorsports) annexed the title in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class.
In the decisive final race, Prabhu finished second behind close rival Chrys D'Souza (Unimek Racing) from Goa. However, D'Souza was docked a 30-second penalty "for causing collision" which pushed him to third while Surat's Nikunj Vagh (Team N1) was elevated to second spot.
Prabhu finished the championship with 103.5 points to D'Souza's 95.5.
Raghul Rangasamy moved a step closer to his dream of winning the MRF F1600 championship as he finished second behind Mumbai's Nayan Chatterjee. He took his tally of points to 152 which put him 14 clear of Goutham Parekh who finished third in Saturday's race.
The championship, whose winner becomes eligible to participate in the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout in the United States later this year, will be decided tomorrow when two more races are run with a maximum of 50 points available.
Later, Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) moved within 13 points of leader Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports) from Bengaluru by winning the premier Indian Touring Cars class race with surprising ease.
Coimbatore's Balu, returning to racing after a five-year break, made capital of his pole position start to win by nearly 13 seconds.
Ramaswamy finished second after getting past team-mate Arjun Narendran who slowed down considerably in the last lap due to "handling issues", as he put it.
It meant, going into tomorrow's last race, Ramaswamy leads Balu 149-136 with 25 points on offer.
Seventeen-year-old Sohil (M Sport) finished second in the race behind Balaprasath (DTS Racing).
The 18 points he thus earned saw him finish on top in the category with 154 points, just four clear of Chennai's 19-year old Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsport) in the final championship standings.
The MRF F1600 race saw Chatterjee off to a good start and gradually pulling away from the pack.
Through the eight laps of the race, Chatterjee maintained steady pace to win by a handsome margin, while Rangasamy, with an eye on the championship, was content to come in second ahead of his arch rival Parekh.
Three Indian entries, B Vijayakumar (Coimbatore), Vicky Chandhok and MR Dastur, both from Chennai, qualified in that order for tomorrow's first race in the Caterham 7 Asia Zonal Championship double-header while a fourth home driver, Kasha Sai (Salem) took the sixth spot on the grid.
Sandwiched between the home entrants were Sri Lankans Sheran Fernando and Andrew Jude Choksy.
Incidentally, it was the maiden drive in the Caterham cars for Vijayakumar, Dastur and Sai while Chandhok had two podium finishes in the previous round last weekend.
France's Alessandro Ghiretti, winner of two of the three races last weekend, warmed up for tomorrows triple-header in the Formula 4 South-East Championship by grabbing pole position ahead of Muizz Musyaffa (Malaysia) and Kane Shepherd (UK).
Results (Provisional): MRF F1600 (Race-1): 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (13mins, 33.003secs); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (13:36.349); 3. Goutham Parekh (Chennai) (13:39.932).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-2): 1. A Balaprasath (DTS Racing) (15:41.318); 2. Sohil Shah (M Sport) (15:42.943); 3. S Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports) (15:43.479). Champion: Sohil Shah (154 points).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (15:12.890); 2. Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports) (15:35.313); 3. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) (15:35.990). Turbo: 1. Karthick Tharani (VW Motorsport) (15:37.110); 2. Rayomand Banajee (VW Motorsport) (15:48.091); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (VW Motorsport) (15:50.365).
Super Stock (Race-2): 1. Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing) (16:53.173); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Infinite Piston) (17:10.342); 3. Kasha Sai (Arka Motorsports) (17:12.346). Champion: Srinivas Teja (118.5 points).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-2): 1. Prabhu AS (Arka Motorsports) (17:27.309); 2. Nikunj Vagh (Team N1) (17:38.045); 3. Chrys DSouza (Unimek Racing) (17:43.479). Champion: Prabhu AS (103.5 points).
Esteem Cup (Race-2): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (16:50.288); 2. Jagadeesh Raj (Arka Motorsports) (17:03.421); 3. Lea Daran (Performance Racing) (18:59.539). Champion: Raghul Rangasamy (118 points)