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National Racing 2018: Defending Champion Arjun Narendran returns to ITC grid, MRF F1600, IJTC and Ameo cup among the 12 races to be held this weekend.

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387   //    18 Jul 2018, 14:56 IST

Ar
Arjun Narendran ITC Champion 2017

Photo Credits: Anand Philar

Chennai, July 18: The third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship which has never failed to dish out high octane action while witnessing emergence of fresh talent, gets off to a start at the MMRT here on Friday even as the competition hots up among title contenders in various categories.

The championship returns to the MMRT after a gap of five months after the first round in February and the next in Coimbatore last month. A card of 12 races has been scheduled for the weekend. The programme includes Volkswagen Ameo Cup besides the first round of the MMSC fmsci Indian National Drag Racing Championship 2018 for four-wheelers which will be run post-lunch on Saturday and Sunday,

The three races in the MRF F1600, now in its seventh season, has proven to be an excellent platform for young guns to showcase their racing talent. The added incentive to the winner of the championship in the MRF F1600 is the chance to participate in the Mazda Road to Indy shootout in the United States later this year which has been organized by the MMSC. The winner of the shootout will receive a scholarship of USD 200,000.

The previous round at Coimbatore witnessed the emergence of 19-year old Ashwin Datta from Chennai who won all three MRF F1600 races in a display of raw pace that blitzed the field and gave himself a head-start in the championship.

The other open-wheel single-seater category, Formula LGB 1300, threw up three different winners – Team MSport’s Nabil Hussain and Sohail Shah, and Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports) – in the season opening triple-header in Coimbatore last month that accurately reflected the competitiveness of the races.

Among saloon cars, the premier Indian Touring Cars category should witness more thrilling action. The previous round in Coimbatore was all about returning stars as Coimbatore ace Arjun Balu (Race Concepts), back on track after a five-year break, won both the races to close in on championship leader Ashish Ramaswamy (ARKA Motorsports) from Bengaluru. Just 18 points separate the duo with veteran B Vijayakumar (Prime Racing) and Nikanth Ram (ARKA Motorsports) sandwiched in between.

A fresh addition to this grid is last year’s champion, Coimbatore-based Arjun Narendran (ARKA Motorsports) who returns after sitting out the previous two rounds and his presence is expected to further sharpen the competitive edge.

In the other saloon cars categories, K Srinivas Teja (Prime Racing) heads the Super Stock with one win and four podiums as also Prabhu AS (ARKA Motorsports) in the Indian Junior Touring Cars while Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing), having won four races, is ahead in the Esteem Cup.

The Round 2 of Volkswagen Ameo Cup is again expected to dish out its share of thrillers as witnessed in the previous round at Coimbatore where Kolhapur’s Dhruv Mohite achieved a creditable double to take a firm lead in the championship.



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