JKNRC 2018 Round 2: Ashwin Datta leads the Euro JK 18 championship at the end of second round
The second day of the JKNRC 2018 provided more edge-of-the-seat moments and excitement than day one right from the first race of the day. The day also witnessed a change in the leaderboard in Euro JK 18 class. One would not have expected the JK Novice Cup category to provide the fireworks it did, but the young racers kept the spectators spellbound with their racing skills. The LGB Formula 4 saw the competitors race so hard that their cars were flying, bouncing and even sliding all over the track. The Suzuki Gixxer Cup /Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup too joined the bandwagon to provide some superb racing moments on two wheels. Here are the highlights of the second and final day of JKNRC 2018:
Euro JK 18
Two races were held on the final day and both of them saw a change in the leader board. Nayan Chatterjee started at pole position in the third race, with Ashwin Datta and Yash Aradhya in second and third positions on the grid. Arya Singh and Mira Erda were fourth and fifth on the grid. However, Mira didn’t have a good start and dropped down to seventh place at the beginning. She pulled off some great overtaking manoeuvres to take back her fifth place and went on to be in the fourth position, with Yash and Karthik tailing her. This was her best position to date. The crowd was jubilant that Mira had made such progress very early in the race. In a brutal turn of events, her best chance of finishing the race on podium slipped away from her hands as she spun out after the main straight and lost her position. The top two racers, Nayan and Ashwin increased their lead over the rest of the pack. Nayan even had a good lead over Ashwin, who was doing everything to outsmart Nayan. Yash and Karthik were fighting their separate battles as the latter was on the tail of the former. As the race progressed, Nayan built a whopping 4 second lead over Ashwin in second place. It seemed like he was unstoppable, with only a lap to go. But this is motorsport, so cue the unexpected. Nayan’s engine was giving him issues and the lead he had built crumbled. Ashwin closed down from 4 seconds to 3.5 seconds. With only a few turns to go, he lost his throttle too and Ashwin closed the gap to 1.6 seconds, still gaining on him. Ashwin made the most and overtook Nayan in the final straight to win the third race, much to everybody’s shock as the latter led for 14 straight laps without a hiccup. Nayan had to be content with a second place finish. Karthik managed to outsmart Yash to finish third.
In the second race, the top six started in reverse grid positions and Nirmal Umashankar was the pole sitter. Nayan got a five-grid penalty because he changed his engine. At this point, the top three racers – Nayan, Ashwin and Karthik – were tied up with 43 points overall. While Yash Aradhya had a jump start, Brayan Perera had a good start and took an early lead as Nirmal Umashanker failed to make most out of his pole position. In a bold move during the initial part of the race, Nayan overtook Manav from the inside at turn 1. The top four racers pulled off a good lead over the others. With 11 laps to go, Nirmal lost control and spun his car a few corners after the main straight, dropping down the order. Nayan meanwhile climbed to fifth position and the battle between the top six was intense. Brayan Perera led the race while Nayan and Ashwin were slugging it out in fifth and fourth position, while Yash at third position didn’t give a chance for Karthik to overtake. With two laps to go, Nayan collided with Karthik down the main straight which slowed him down and Ashwin took advantage of this overtook both of them. At the end the race, Brayan took the top spot, followed by Ashwin and Nayan in second and third respectively. Ashwin now leads the championship with 50 points, a point separating him from Nayan. Karthik has amassed 48 points with the crown still there for the taking.
LGB Formula 4
Two races were held in the LGB Formula 4 class. Vibhav Parker started on pole, with Sai Sanjay and Nabil Hussain in second and third positions on the grid. Diljith T S, Raghul Rangasamy and Rohit Khanna in fourth, fifth and sixth on the grid. During the initial part of the race, Rohit Khanna took the lead, with Diljith behind him. Diljith soon overtook Rohit to take the lead. Vishnu Prasad gradually climbed up the order, was tailing Diljith, and soon enough, snatched the lead from him at turn 9. With chaos in the middle order as the fight intensified, Vishnu was moving away from the rest of the pack. Meanwhile, Diljith lost control of his car and hit the kerb after the main straight. Vishnu, Rohit and Raghul were the top three, they had created a substantial lead over the middle order, and Vishnu crossed the finish line first. Rohit and Raghul were fighting hard for the second position. However,Raghul successfully fended off Rohit to finish second, while the latter finished third.
In a dramatic fourth and final race of the class, Vishnu started on pole, followed by Raghul and Rohit on the grid. The lead was exchanged a number of times in the first three laps. Bala Prasath was leading until Nabil and Shivani collided at turn 3, which sent Shivani’s car flying and it landed on top of Nabil’s car. Hot coolant leaked and poured onto Nabil, due to which he suffered burn injuries. The race was yellow flagged for a while and then green flag was raised. There was no stopping Raghul as he maintained his lead till the end and won the race. Rohit and Vishnu were battling it out for second and in the last lap, Vishnu beat Rohit to take second place while the latter had to settle for third.
JK Tyre Novice Cup
This was the second race and it set the tone for the day. Simply put, the last race of the class provided enough fireworks to keep the crowd engaged. Damaged cars, collisions, cars losing control and sliding, you name it. Drama started in the very first lap as Deepak Nambiar lost control of the car and collided with Suriya Varathan between turn 9 and 10. Yellow flag was raised. Hashim spun his car at the end of main straight but regained control quickly. It wasn’t the same case for Henna Jayanth as she went off track. Hashim overtook Ashwin and led the race briefly, until Viswas Vijayraj, took the lead away from him. The battle was on for second position between Hashim and Ashwin but the latter lost control and lost his third position. Tijil Rao inherited the third position, targeting a victory. With only three laps to go, yellow flag was raised but Pramil Singh overtook Vishnu under the red flag, which incurs a time penalty. In the last lap the safety car was called off and all hell broke loose. Viswas Vijayraj, who was leading the race, cracked under pressure, collided with Henna Jayanth down the main straight, and lost his pole position. Ashwin crossed the finish line first, but he incurred a 10-second penalty for an avoidable collision, which cost him the win. As a result, Tijil Rao claimed victory, followed by Huzaifa Tinawala and Yokeshwaran Krishnavelu. This is Tijil’s first ever win and the 14-year old was the youngest on the grid.
Suzuki Gixxer Cup/ Redbull Road to Rookies Cup
The last race of the event saw some brilliant racing even though it started with a crash. Sachin and Amul crashed into each other at turn one and both of them retired from the race. Joseph and Syed led the race, followed by Malasawmdawngliana and Sanjeev Mhatre. The four of them created some distance from the rest of the pack. The top two exchanged the lead a couple of times, but Joseph walked away with a win at the end, followed by Syed right behind him. Malasawmdawngliana finished third. In the Red Bull Rookies Cup, PC Andy Lalhmangaihsanga took the top honours, followed by Jerome Vanlalrengpuia and Eshaan Shankar.
Media Endurance Race
An endurance race for auto journos was conducted in the first half of the day. With two riders per team, the journos raced astride the Suzuki Gixxer Cup bike for an hour. The team with the maximum number of laps was crowned as winner. Our man, Jehan Dharukhanawala representing Fast Bikes India, came second in the endurance race with 36 laps. He was paired with Dhanil Vira from Motorbeam. Our videographer Alameen Merchant (evo India) and Aatish Mishra (Top Gear India) came fifth overall with 34 laps.
And with that, the second round of JKNRC 2018 has come to an end. The third round will be held again at Kari Motor Speedway on October 12-14.
Here are the provisional results for the day:
Euro JK 18:
Race 3: 1. Ashwin Datta; 2. Nayan Chatterjee; 3. Karthik Tharani
Race 4: 1. Brayan Perera; 2. Ashwin Datta; 3. Nayan Chatterjee
Race 2: 1. Vishnu Prasad (Msport, Chennai); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport, Chennai); 3. Rohit Khanna (Dark Don Racing, Delhi)
Race 3: 1. Raghul Rangasamy; 2. Vishnu Prasad; 3. Rohit Khanna
Suzuki Gixxer Cup: 1. Joseph Matthew; 2. Syed Muzammil Ali; 3. Malasawmdawnglama
JK Tyre Novice Cup: 1. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsports, Bangalore); 2. Huzaifa Tinwala (Prudent Motorsports, Ahmedabad); 3. Yokeshwaran Krishnavelu (MSport, Coimbatore)
Red Bull Road To Rookies: 1. PC Andy Lalhmangaihsanga; 2. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia; 3. Eshaan Shankar