National Racing: Teja, Rangasamy crowned champions, Pole for Nayan in F1600 and Balu in ITC
Chennai, September 7: Srinivas Teja from Chennai and Mamallapuram’s Raghul Rangasamy, both from Performance Racing team, sealed the titles in their respective categories with a race to spare in the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT, here on Friday.
A second-place finish behind Deepak Ravikumar (Infinite Piston) ensured the title for 25-year old Teja in the Super Stock class of saloon cars category as he took his tally to an unbeatable 106. Ravkumar moved to second position in the championship with 76.5 points, ahead of Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar (Race Concepts, 75) and the duo will be fighting it out in the second race tomorrow. Anekar, who enjoyed a huge lead, in today’s race, retired when the throttle cable snapped in the sixth lap.
“Today, my focus was on complete the race without any mishap as I needed to finish second or third to pick up enough points to seal the championship. This is my first season in the Super Stock category and I am very happy that I was able to win the title,” said Teja.
Rangasamy, a versatile racer though just 25, capped another fine season by sealing the title in the Esteem Cup, taking an insurmountable lead after scoring his seventh win in 10 starts this season. Rangasamy had won the Super Stock and Formula LGB 1300 titles in 2016 besides finishing second runner-up in the MRF F1600.
With Teja and Rangasamy annexing the championship, Ravikumar’s “double” of winning the Super Stock and the Formula LGB 1300 races was somewhat overshadowed. However, the title fight in the LGB 1300 class is between Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motorsports, 136 points) and Sohil Shah (M Sport, 135) who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, going into tomorrow’s Race 2.
POLE FOR NAYAN CHATTERJEE
Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee qualified for pole position in the MRF F1600 category with a hot lap of 01minute, 39.432seconds, ahead of Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) and Chennai’s Goutham Parekh. The winner of the championship which concludes on Sundayearns a ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout in the United States later this year.
Meanwhile, Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) snatched the pole position in the premier Indian Touring Cars class, driving a car that went through a few subtle aero changes since the previous round . His arch-rival Arjun Narendran, also from Coimbatore, and Arka Motorsports team-mate Ashish Ramaswamy, the championship leader from Bengaluru, qualified second and third respectively for tomorrow’s race that promises another close contest.
“We made a few aero changes to the car and it reflected in our lap timings. I could have gone a bit more quicker, but got caught up in traffic during a flying lap,” said Balu, who has returned to racing after a gap of five years.
THREE INDIAN ENTRIES FOR CATERHAM RACES
Meanwhile, veteran racers Vicky Chandhok (Chennai), who scored two podiums during last week in the Caterham 7 Asia Zonal Championship, and B Vijayakumar (Coimbatore), besides Salem’s Kasha Sai are the three Indian entries in this weekend’s double-header. In today’s Free Practice session, Sri Lankan Sheran Fernando was the quickest, followed by Vijayakumar, Chandhok, Andew Jude Choksy (Sri Lanka) and Kasha Sai.
The fourth round of the Formula 4 South-East Asia championship also got underway with a free practice session that leader Alessandro Ghritetti (France) topped.
The results (Provisional, all 8 laps unless mentioned):
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-1): Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai) (15mins, 42.479secs); 2. A Balaprasath (Coimbatore) (15:43.087); 3. Sai Sanjay (Salem) (15:48.496).
Super Stock (Race-1): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (Infinite Piston) (16:41.287); 2. Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing) (17:02.783); 3. Kasha Sai (Arka Motorsports) (17:05.700).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing) (17:11.446); 2. Prabhu AS (Arka Motorsports) (17:27.207); 3. Nikunj Vagh (Team N1) (17:54.575).
Esteem Cup (Race-1): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (16:42.575); 2. Lea Daran (Performance Racing) (18:00.485).
Qualifying – MRF F1600: 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (01:39.432); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (01:39.523); 3. Goutham Parekh (Chennai) (01:39.623).
Indian Touring Cars : 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (01:52.311); 2. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) (01:52.668); 3. Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports) (01:53.922). Turbo: 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai) (01:54.179); 2. Rayomand Banajee (Mumbai) (01:55.560); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (Hyderabad) (01:56.312).