Local lad shines at national racing event
Coimbatore, June 19 (IANS) Arjun Narendran of the Red Rooster Performance team completed a clean sweep by winning all the three races in the premium Indian Touring Cars class as the third round of the Indian National Racing Championship concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Sunday.
Narendran, the defending champion in his swansong home season, had won the first of the three races on Saturday and took the honours in Sunday's double header in style with near-flawless driving exhibition.
Also impressive was Chennai's Tejasram C.S. (WSRF), who won two of the three races in the Rookie Cup (FF 1300) class while Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing), also from Chennai, was elevated to first spot in the Super Stock race after original winner Deepak Ravikumar was excluded for a technical infringement. Goa's Keith Desouza (Unimek Racing) topped in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category race.
Hyderabad's Ishaan Dodhiwala and Karminderpal Singh from New Delhi shared the honours in the Volkswagen Vento Cup by winning a race apiece. Both the Vento Cup races were marked by clean but close battles, with the second outing testing the drivers due to a wet track following sharp showers.
For Narendran, who will be off racing from next season to pursue higher studies in Britain, it was a memorable Sunday. He began by winning the first race of the day despite starting fourth on the reverse grid and then dominated the next outing from pole-to-flag victory, leaving the rest to chase his shadow.
While the morning race was decidedly one sided with veteran B. Vijaya Kumar (Performance Racing) finishing a lonely second, well clear of third placed Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooster Performance) of Bengaluru, the afternoon outing provided some thrilling fare.
Even as Narendran opened up a huge lead early in the 12-lapper, behind him Ramaswamy and fellow-Bengalurean and close friend Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) were involved in a thrilling battle. Ashish, running third, eventually passed Deepak, struggling without brakes, with a brilliant move on the inside of Turn-1, to finish a creditable second.
"I had good races today. The car was superbly set up. Also, with the guys fighting for positions behind me, it helped me to increase my lead. This will be my last season of racing here as I am off to UK for higher studies. Hopefully, I can make time to race occasionally," Narendran said.
The 22-year-old local started racing in 2011 without any previous experience.
Meanwhile, in the first Vento Cup race, Dodhiwala, starting from pole position, took off with a great launch and held his position going into the first turn. After having defended his position in the most crucial corner at the start of the race, Ishaan went on to drive the 12 laps of the race in the lead to win.
The second race was preceded by a lot of confusion owing to the changing weather conditions. With light drizzles setting in, the decision to go on slicks or wets was an important one. As the cars lined up to exit the pit lane on slicks, it started raining heavily and the cars were brought back into the pits for tyre change. A quick tyre change was done and the cars went out for a wet race.
Dodhiwala started eighth on the reverse grid while second position finisher Karminder Pal Singh seventh. Karminder made the crucial moves on the first lap itself and came up to the third position while Dodhiwala climbed to fifth. By the end of second lap, Karminder had moved to the top position followed by Dodhiwala.
Both of them retained their positions all the way to the chequered flag. Aditya Pawar, having started fifth on the grid, finished third.