Mixed conditions treated us to a heartstopping Round 2 of MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship 2021
Round 2 of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship 2021 was held at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai and the event had drama, lots of action and a substantial amount of delays. Over the weekend, we had seven different classes of racing which included the Formula LGB 1600 class, the Formula LGB 1300 class, Indian Touring Cars, Super Stock, Indian Junior Touring Cars, Volkswagen Polo Championship, and the MRF Saloon Cars. Even though we had heavy spells of rain on Sunday, it did not stop the enthusiasm of either the driver or the pit crew trying to get the best out of the cars. With that said, let us now look at how the weekend unfolded in each of the classes.
Formula LGB 1600
It was all teenage blood in Race 1 in this class. 17-year-old Chirag Ghorpade from Bangalore won the first race after he successfully defended Shahan Ali Mohsin, who is also a 17-year-old from Agra. Rishon Rajiv, age 16 from Bangalore, finished just a second behind the two and secured third.
“It was a tough race initially when Shahan caught up with me, but I realized that he was unable to narrow the gap any further and I managed to dictate the pace,” said Ghorpade.
In Race 2, there was a debate amongst the stewards on whether to conduct the race on slick tyres or on the wets. In the end, the dry tyres were chosen. Dillon Zacharaiah took the victory after starting from P2 on the reverse grid. Suriyavarathan from Coimbatore finished just four-tenths of a second behind Dillon and Viswas Vijayaraj secured third after a steady drive in the eight-lap race.
But, it was a Ghorpade show yet again in Race 3. He managed to win the six-laps race which was shortened due to the initial delay and lack of daylight. Shahan Ali Mohsin, who finished second, was later handed a 10-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane which pushed him down to sixth. The penalty moved Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj to second place and Ashwin Datta from Chennai to third.
Formula LGB 1300
Pole-sitter Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) from Vellore had emerged as the winner of Race 1 as the session was red-flagged due to a series of crashes. The eight-lap race was shortened down to just five after the session was stopped. Arya Singh from DTS Racing came second while Deepak Ravikumar finished third.
In the second race of the FLGB 1300, which in the end was declared as a dry race, Raghul Rangasamy (Quest Motorsport) from Chennai took the honours after starting from P5. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) from Bangalore finished second and Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) finished third.
Indian Touring Cars
Defending Champion Arjun Balu (Race Concepts), won the first race with ease after starting from pole position. Rayo Racing drivers from Hyderabad, Anindith Reddy and Jeet Jhabakh completed the podium by finishing a distant second and third, respectively.
“Honestly, I was quite surprised by the pace of the car (Honda City) and by the end of the first lap, I was comfortably ahead. Thereafter, I decided to back off a bit and scaled-down on my aggression. Yes, I am quite pleased with the performance,” Balu said.
Balu, the 47-year old ace from Coimbatore, brought his vast experience into play to complete a double victory in the premier Indian Touring Cars class with his win in Race 2. He started from P3 after the reverse grid rule was applied in a wet race due to a bout of heavy showers in the afternoon. Jeet Jhabakh came in second while Anindith Reddy completed the podium with a P3.
Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing) from Chennai took the top step on the podium in Race 1. He finished three seconds ahead of Rithvik Thomas in P2 and the third position was taken up by RP Raja Rajan in P3.
In Race 2, it was the same people on the podium, but this time, the arrangement was a little different. After a delayed start due to the rain, it was Rithvik Thomas who took top honours, followed by Deepak Ravikumar in P2 and RP Raja Rajan in P3.
MRF Saloon Cars
In the first race of the category, it was a complete Red Line Racing podium. Fahad Kutty (Red Line Racing) achieved top honours by finishing the eight-lap race in 17 minutes and 08.849 seconds. Jamie Shaw (Red Line Racing) finished just a second behind, securing P2 while Chandresh Tolia (Red Line Racing) finished P3.
The second race had 10 laps instead of the regular eight. A Balaprasath (Quest Motorsport) won the race from Justin Singh (Quest Motorsport) by just seven-tenths of a second. Fahad Kutty managed to secure another position by finishing P3.
In Race 3 it was a Fahad Kuty show yet again. He finished first, finish four seconds ahead of Jamie Shaw in P2 and Jai Prashant Venkat (Red Line Racing) from Coimbatore rounded up the podium by finishing third.
Indian Junior Touring Cars
Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) from Bangalore secured the top step on the podium in Race 1 after finishing 21 seconds ahead of Charen Chandran in P2 and Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Race Concepts) from Chennai in P3.
However, in the second race, Charen struck back with a clean drive and secured P1 while K Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing) from Chennai secured P2. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala secured another podium by finishing P3.
Volkswagen Polo Championship
Both the races of the Volkswagen Polo Championship had to be delayed as rain interrupted the entire schedule. There was confusion on the track as the track was quite damp in places, but at the same time, there was a dry line appearing on the track. But in the end, the first race was held as a wet race.
In Race 1, Sai Sanjay TS from Salem secured the top step on the podium after starting from pole. Sandeep Kumar from Chennai managed to secure P2 after a tough fight with Sourav Bandyopadhyay, who finished P3. For a detailed report of Race 1, click here.
Race 2 was conducted on a reverse grid and Ritesh Rai from Chennai won the race after starting from pole. Avik Anwar finished second after a really tough battle with Ritesh, who defended his position with everything he had got. Sandeep Kumar was the highlight of this race as he secured P3 after coming from P11. He could have won the race as well, provided he didn’t do a mistake while trying the challenge the two ahead. For a detailed report of Race 2, click here
With that said, Round 3 of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship will take place from January 21-23, 2022. For more updates from the world of Indian motorsport, stay tuned to evo India!