Pole for Martono, Ashish Ramaswamy
Chennai, Feb 2 (PTI) Bengaluru's Ashish Ramaswamy of Arka Motor Sports team qualified in pole position among saloon cars in the first round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT circuit in Sriperumbudur near here today.
Meanwhile, two 17-year-olds, Indonesian Presley Martono and championship leader Felipe Drugovich from Brazil, qualified for the front row in the fourth and concluding round of the MRF Challenge.
The top six drivers finished within a second of each other to set the stage for some thrilling battles over the next two days during which four races will be run.
Drugovich, coming off a brilliant run in the previous round in Abu Dhabi where he won all four races, started the day strongly by topping the first of two free practice sessions.
Martono, who trails the Brazilian by 86 points, responded by claiming the honours in the second outing before carrying that form into the qualifying session to grab pole position.
Ramaswamy, who had finished third in the championship last year, enjoyed a virtually trouble-free run through the day as he was the quickest in the free practice sessions, clocking 01:53.520, well clear of second-placed team-mate V Nikanth Ram from Coimbatore (01:55.816).
Results (qualifyingtop 3): MRF Challenge: 1. Presley Martono (Indonesia) (01min, 30.017secs); 2. Felipe Drugovich (Brazil) (01:30.377); 3 Rinus van Kalmthout (Netherlands) (01:30.468).
Saloon cars: 1. Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motor Sports) (01:53.520); 2. V Nikanth Ram (Arka Motor Sports) (01:55.816); 3. B Vijay Kumar (Prime Racing) (01:56.741)