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JKNRC 2018 Round 3: Karthik Tharani on podium in both races of Euro JK 18 class
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JKNRC 2018 Round 3: Karthik Tharani on podium in both races of Euro JK 18 class

By Ganesh Murthy

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JKNRC 2018 Round 3: Karthik Tharani on podium in both races of Euro JK 18 class

The third round of JK Tyre National Racing Championship kicked off this weekend at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. As in the last round, there are four categories – Euro JK 18, LGB Formula 4, JK Tyre Novice Cup and Suzuki Gixxer Cup. And this time too, it was the Novice cup that provided maximum fireworks with wheel to wheel racing, cars sliding & spinning, crashing into eachother and other race incidents. The Suzuki Gixxer Cup race too was dramatic and kept the spectators on edge. Racers in all categories provided some spectacular racing moments. Here are the highlights of the races:

Euro JK 18

Two races were held in this class for the day. After a brilliant qualifying session, Nayan Chatterjee started on pole position with Karthick Tharani, Ashwin Datta and Yash Aradhya in second, third and fourth grid positions respectively. However, Karthik had a good start when the lights went out and he took the lead away from Nayan. In the fifth lap, when Nayan tried to overtake Karthik from the outside at C1, he hit a bump, which made his car unstable and he went off track. He also damaged his steering column and as a result, he was forced to retire from the race. Ashwin Datta took advantage of the tussle in the top order and took the lead. Karthick was behind Ashwin but he had to deal with Brayan Perera, who was breathing fire down his neck. Ashwin went on to win the race. Brayan pulled off a bold overtake from the inside at C1 to get the second position but Karthik defended his second place till the end of the race. Brayan had to settle for third place. Nirmal Umashanker managed to fend off Yash Aradhya to climb to fourth position and Yash finished fifth.

The second race started in reverse grid position for the top six racers and Yash Aradhya was on pole position. Nayan Chatterjee started from 11th position. In the first four laps of the race, Yash was leading followed by Nirmal Umashankar and Sudharsan Rao. Meanwhile, down the order, Nayan had clawed his way to the seventh position. Karthik, Brayan and Nayan were battling for the fourth position. With six laps to go, Nirmal hit Yash from behind in a bid to overtake him and the latter went off track. He recovered quickly but the damage was done and he lost his lead. Nirmal led the race briefly till Karthik overtook him and went on to win the race in the last lap, with Nirmal in second position. Nayan made his way to the third position finished the race on the podium.

Formula LGB 4

The qualifying sessions were done in F1 style for this class. There were three qualifying sessions held back-to-back and in the second half of the day, one race was conducted. Rohit Khanna from Dark Don racing managed to set a lap time of 01:11.499 to grab the pole position while Chittesh Mandody (Avalanche) and Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) occupied the second and third positions on the grid with 01:11.502 and 01:11.616 minutes respectively. Drama started right on the first lap as two cars racers from Ahura Racing team spun out at the tricky C1. Sandeep Kumar slipstreamed past teammate Rohit and Raghul overtook Rohit at C1. It was a wheel-to-wheel race as the top six cars were racing close to each other. But Rohit regained the lead shortly and defended his position. Sandeep too climbed to second with Raghul Close behind. Dark Don racing dominated the race with two of its racers in top two. In a funny incident, one racer from Ahura Racing spun out came to a halt, facing the opposite direction at C1. The other racers waved at her as they passed by.  The race was yellow flagged and at this point, Rohit led the race followed by teammate Sandeep and Raghul. A massive crash happened at C4 for Manav Dougall; he nearly toppled and lost his right rear wheel. Luckily, he walked away from the crash. The race was red flagged and the final four laps was run under the safety car period, sealing Rohit’s win.  Sandeep and Raghul finished second and third respectively. Vishnu Prasad and Chittesh Mandody took the fourth and fifth spot.

JK Tyre Novice Cup

This was the second race in the class and it started in reverse grid for the top six. Kunal Maini started on pole and Jaswanth, Pradyumba occupied the second and third positions on the grid. Hashim EKP was on the seventh position on the grid. As the lights went out, Kunal led the race followed by Jaswanth and Hashim EKP quickly made his way to the third position. He and Jaswanth fought for the second position but Hashim outsmarted him to take the second place. Chirag Ghorpade spun near turn 1 and ended up with a DNF. Hashim made use of the slipstream with an eye on the lead but Kunal denied him the opportunity. Many race incidents also happed as the cars were sliding and going off track. At least five cars retired from the race. In another massive incident, Jaswanth spun out on the main straight as he lost control of the car and crashed into the wall. As a result of the incident, the race was red flagged and restarted after a while. By this time, there were only 13 cars on the grid out of 24 cars. The lead changed hands like a game of musical chairs in this race. Kunal, Hashim and Tijil were on the top three grid positions and slugged it out with an eye on the top spot. Tijil climbed to the second spot and gave Kunal a tough time. After a few moments he overtook Kunal and led the race briefly. Hashim slipstreamed past Tijil and snaffled the lead. The top five racers put a decent gap between them and the rest of the pack. Suriya Varathan overtook Kunal and climbed to third spot. Amidst all this chaos, Hashim went on to win the race, followed by Kunal, who successfully fended off Suriya and Tijil. Tijil took the third spot and Suriya took the fourth position.

Suzuki Gixxer Cup

Only one race was held on Saturday and this race too, was incident marred. Joseph started on pole with, Clinton and Mala in second and third place on the grid. In the first lap itself, two riders crashed and Joseph was leading the race followed by Mala and Syed. In a massive crash in the third lap just after C6, two racers collided and another racer close behind crashed into them. All three had sustained minor injuries and the race was red flagged and restarted after more than 20 minutes of delay. Joseph again took the lead and he increased the gap slowly as the race progressed. Clinton was slipstreaming behind Mala but couldn’t overtake him. With only four laps to go, Joseph was took a decent lead over the rest of the pack and Mala in second position lost traction near turn 11, slowing him down a bit. The top two racers pulled a good lead over the rest of the pack. Joseph went on to win the race comfortably followed by Mala. Sachin and Syed fought a neck-to-neck battle in the main straight in the final lap, but it was Sachin who edged closer to take the third spot, while Syed had to settle for a fourth place finish.

Here are the provisional results of all the races:

Euro JK 18:

Race One: 1. Ashwin Datta (15:38.306);  2. Karthik Tharani (15:42.598); 3. Brayan Perera (15:42.829)

Race Two: 1. Karthik Tharani; 2. Nirmal Uma Shankar; 3. Nayan Chatterjee

LGB 4:

  1. Rohit Khanna (Dark Don Racing; 23:28.307); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Dark Don; 23:28.592); Raghul Rangasamy (MSport; 23:29.337)

Gixxer Cup:

  1. Joseph Mathew (12:36.577); 2. Malsawmdawngliana (12:41.202); 3. Sachin Chaudhary (12:44.210)

This result might change, investigation is going on

JK Tyre Novice Cup:

  1. Hasim EKP (19:09.525); 2. Kunal Maini (19:14.166); 3. Tijil Rao (19:26.560)