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JKNRC 2018 Round 2: Double win for Nayan Chatterjee in Euro JK 18 on day 1
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JKNRC 2018 Round 2: Double win for Nayan Chatterjee in Euro JK 18 on day 1

Ganesh Murthy

JKNRC 2018 Round 2: Double win for Nayan Chatterjee in Euro JK 18 on day 1

The second round of JK Tyre National Racing Championship (JKNRC) kick started yesterday at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. It was an electric atmosphere with a lot of young racing talent in different categories, raring to go and get the top honours. The Suzuki Gixxer Cup / Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup shared the same grid adding more excitement. While the Euro JK 18 races provided some top-notch drama, the LGB Formula 4 and the JK Tyre Novice Cup provided some brilliant racing moments in the form of young racers displaying their skills behind the wheel. The qualifying sessions were held in the morning, followed by the first race of the Euro JK 18. The 21st JKNRC also witnessed the addition of a new category – the JK Tyre Novice Cup, which provides a platform for upcoming racers to further strengthen their skills. Here are highlights:

Euro JK 18

Two races were held today in this class, which witnessed maximum drama and chaos. The races had all the ingredients to make it a treat to watch – wheel-to-wheel racing, enough entertainment to keep the spectators glued to the race and above all that, a fighting spirit from all the racers. The starting grid of the first race comprised Nayan Chatterjee, Chetan Korada and Karthik Tharani. While Nayan Chatterjee had a brilliant start and built up a decent lead, Karthik Tharani fended off Chetan Korada and climbed to second. He was tailing Nayan and the duo built a strong lead over the rest for a short while. At the end of the 15-lap race, it was Nayan who emerged victor, while Karthick Tharani and Brayan Perera (Sri Lanka) finished second and third respectively.

The second race started in the reverse grid for the top six of the first race and Manav Sharma, Sudarshan Rao Karwal and Ashwin Datta occupied the top three grid positions, while Brayan Perera, Karthik Tharani and Nayan started in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Ashwin and Brayan were slugging it out for the third position and in another part of the race, Sudarshan skidded off the long parabola curve and retired. The race was yellow flagged and safety car was called in for three laps. With nine laps to go, Karthik was behind Manav but the latter had a contact with the former’s car, skidded off the track and was forced to retire from the race. Nayan took the lead with Karthik behind him. Mira Erda went off the track on two occasions in the same lap but managed to regain control and put a strong show. All wasn’t well for Nirmal Umashankar as he hit the wall near turn 8 with just a few laps to go. As a result, the race was yellow flagged and the safety car was called in for the final three laps, which sealed the win for Nayan, while Karthik took the second spot and Ashwin was placed third. Brayan finished in fourth place. With the two race wins, Nayan has earned 16 points to stake his claim for this year’s crown.

LGB Formula 4

Only one race was held today and it was a cracker. Vishnu Prasad, Chittesh Mandody and Raghul Rangasamy started in the top three grid positions followed by Rohit Khanna and Sohil Shah. The race also saw 6 women racers from Ahura Racing. It was a wheel to wheel battle along with some excellent overtakes and side by side racing to provide keeping the spectators occupied. The top three had taken a decent lead over the rest of the pack. The fight was intense in the middle and bottom order with bumper-to-bumper racing. Vibhav Parker skidded off the track near the first turn; Rupesh suffered a mechanical issue while Rahul Deshpande lost control near turn 1 and ended up on the sand. Both Rupesh and Rahul were forced to retire from the race. A total of five racers ended up with a DNF including Sohil Shah and Manisha Ram Kelkar. Vishnu Prasad emerged victor in a chaotic race followed by Rohit Khanna and Raghul Rangasamy. Vishnu finished an impressive 2.323 seconds ahead of the entire field of 26 racers. Lea Daran (Ahura Racing) was the fastest woman in this category, finishing 15th.

JK Tyre Novice Cup

Introduced as a new category in the second round of JKNRC, the Novice Cup is intended to bridge the gap between karting and formula cars. It saw some enthusiastic racing from the participants right from the first lap. Huzaifa Tinawala and Suriya Varathan slipped, lost control and were facing the opposite direction on either side, while the rest of the cars passed between them, which kept the spectators on their edge. Some cars lost control and went off track while others collided. Jagjot Singh retired due to mechanical issues. Suriya skidded in the penultimate lap which resulted in a DNF for him. Vishwas Vijayraj won the race, while Siddharth Mehdiratta and Hashim EKP finished second and third respectively.

Suzuki Gixxer Cup/Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup

This was an exciting race as both the Gixxer racers and the Red Bull Rookies Cup racers shared the grid. Malsawmdawngliana was the polesitter with Syed Muzammil Ali and Joseph Mathew in second and third positions. But in the first lap itself, near turn 6, Malsawmdawngliana crashed right after the corner as he lost control of the bike. Syed Muzammil Ali inherited the lead with Joseph Mathew and Sachin Chaudhary behind him. But It was Joseph who snaffled the lead from Syed in a neck to neck last lap and went on to win the race. Syed and Sachin finished in second and third positions respectively. In the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup, Jerome Vanlalrengpuia won the race, followed by PC Andy Lalhmangaihsanga and Eshaan Shankar.

Here are the results from day 1:

Euro JK 18:

Race 1: 1. Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Karthik Tharani; 3. Brayan Perera

Race 2: 1. Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Karthik Tharani; 3. Ashwin Datta

LGB 4: 1. Vishnu Prasad (Msport); 2. Rohit Khanna (Dark Don Racing); 3. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport)

Suzuki Gixxer Cup: 1. Joseph Matthew; 2. Syed Muzammil Ali; 3. Sachin Chaudhary

JK Tyre Novice Cup: 1. Vishwas Vijayaraj (DTS racing), 2. Siddharth Mehdiratta (Momentum Motorsports), 3. Hashim EKP (DTS racing)

Red Bull Road To Rookies: 1. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia; 2. PC Andy Lalhmangaihsanga; 3. Eshaan Shankar