Sandeep Kumar and Amir Sayed dominate at the 2021 JK National Racing Championship
Plenty of sparks flew at the Kari Motor Speedway, as the final day of the Formula LGB4 championship went down to the wire till the last lap of the last race. Ultimately, though, it was heartbreak for Ashwin Datta, who led overnight in the Formula LGB4 category with 63 points.
Call it sheer bad luck or the way racing plays out as a sport, Ashwin was distraught in the morning as he faced brake failure in the first race. It was a challenge for him to keep his cool in the last race of the championship in the afternoon as he started from the back row of the grid.
The formation laps itself had to be gone through repeatedly and after three times the race had to be restarted; Ashwin did the damage to his chances. At the very first corner, his car came into dangerous contact with a few cars and it was all over for him.
As he walked back to the pit lane and then the balcony for viewing the race as any other spectator, he looked gutted. However, he cheered on his Dark Don teammate Sandeep Kumar, who raced tactically to emerge champion.
Sandeep, 28, has a rich racing experience, being a part of Indian motorsport for almost 15 years, starting out in karting before going into racing. So after seeing mayhem ahead of him in the last race, he decided the best plan was not to do anything risky, especially after all the incidents. The repeated appearance of the safety car can play on the mind of the drivers. Yet, Sandeep's ice-cold nerves stood him in good stead as he finished fifth in the last race, totaling 66 points to seal the Formula LGB4 championship. Ashwin finished second with 63 points, while Vishnu Prasad, with 54 points, was third. (These points tally are as per provisional standings.)
Sandeep had little to say after the race. Or, maybe, he could not believe the way luck also played a role today. "I do not want to say anything really as the final standings have to be tabulated," said Sandeep.
Moving now to the Novice cup, and as anticipated, teen sensation Amir Sayed continued his fine form to attain glory in the Novice Cup category. "It was fun driving this whole season," said Amir after winning the last race. He totaled a whopping 120 points – the maximum possible – in the championship.
Naturally, he was extremely happy to be crowned champion but kept his emotions in check, with no undue celebration even on the podium. "It has been a very thrilling and satisfying championship for me," said Amir.
Amir, who had started from karting, is a debutant in the racing championship. He talks about the transition, “I spent a lot of time with Vishnu Prasad on the tracks in Chennai and Coimbatore. He has mentored and guided me and that is why I could do well in this championship," added Amir. The obvious plan for the next seasons for Amir would be to shift gears and move to the higher categories.
The provisional results of the concluding rounds of the 23rd JK National Racing Championship are as follows: