22nd JK Tyre National Racing Championship - Day 1
JK Tyre National Racing Championship is back for its 22nd season, with the first round being held in Coimbatore over a pleasant weekend. The National Championship now comprises three categories namely the main attraction, the Formula LGB 4, the Suzuki Gixxer Cup and the JK Tyre Novice Cup.
Formula LGB 4:
The LGB 4 category had a 26-driver grid, with top names like Rohit Khanna, Vishnu Prasad and young racers such as Ashwin Datta and Sohil Shah making for a highly competitive weekend.
Young racing sensation, Sohil Shah fresh from a round of the MRF National Championship in a MRF F1600 car was determined to earn a noteworthy finish driving the LGB 4 car. He set the fastest time in qualifying 1:11.369 minutes to start on pole. Joining him in the front row was Chennai’s Ashwin Datta who set a very close 1:11.525 minutes.
In the first race of the weekend, Ashwin had a better start, enough momentum to overtake Sohil within the first few metres of the race. In the front of the pack, the fight for the podium was between Ashwin, Vishnu and Rohit Khanna. Ashwin endured the tight battle and stayed put in the lead all the way until the last lap of the race. However an incident brought out the safety car, that came out a couple of seconds earlier, hampered his pace and saw him slip to the third place handing the lead to Vishnu and the second place to Dark Don’s Rohit.
Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade was able to set his quickest, a 1:11.684 only milliseconds ahead of Aaroh Ravindra who clocked a 1:11.785 to start in the front row for the first race of the season. The 14-year-old won both the races defending Aaroh for the top spot. Aaroh was unable to pack enough punch to sneak past Chirag and settled for second place in both the races of the JK Tyre Novice Cup.
Suzuki Gixxer Cup / Red Bull Road to Rookies:
Bengaluru lad, Syed Ali won the first race of the fifth Suzuki Gixxer Cup season, a comfortable lead over second placed Tanay Gaikwad from Pune. Amul Angadi (Coimbatore) clinched second and third place in a 31-strong grid while Ikshan Shanbag was on top in the Road to Rookies category.