Vikash Anand survived a few anxious moments and kept his nerve to pull off an impressive win in the MRF F1600 class in the fourth round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT track in Sriperumbudur on Saturday (July 16).
It was Anand’s third consecutive win following his double in the previous round in March, but had to work hard for success after slipping to third from a pole position start in a three-way battle involving Sandeep Kumar, who eventually finished second, and Anindith Reddy, the third placed finisher, according to a press release from the organisers.
Meanwhile, Raghul Rangasamy, who hails from the temple town of Mamallapuram, and Goa’s Keith Desouza won both their races in different categories. Rangasamy topped in the F1300 Rookie Championship and later Super Stock class, while Desouza claimed victories in the Indian Junior Touring Cars and Volkswagen Vento Cup races.
Also achieving a double was Coimbatore’s Arjun Narendran of Red Rooster Racing in the premium Indian Touring Cars class for his sixth win in seven outings to extend his lead in the championship. After easily winning the first race from pole position, he started the second in fourth on the reverse grid, but moved to the front in the very first lap and went on to score another comfortable win.
Anand, Sandeep and Anindith were locked in a tight battle from the start. Anand went off the track at Turn-2, allowing Anindith to take lead with Sandeep running second. The three-pronged fight developed into a thriller before Anindith and Sandeep slid off the track on the same lap, allowing Anand to jump into the lead which he nursed to the finish.
Championship leader Karthik Tharani, who had started the season with four wins on the trot, finished a distant seventh after starting last on the grid as he crashed during qualifying. Consequently, he swapped cars with that of an absent Goutham Parekh, but was never in contention for a podium finish.
For Desouza, it was a profitable day. He took the honours in the IJTC race after original winner Anant Pithawalla was docked time penalty for a jump start and later, chalked up his first win in the Volkswagen Vento Cup which he attributed to a near-perfect set-up.
Rangasamy, among the busiest drivers in the championship, competing in three categories, was in a league of his own while wining the F1300 race virtually unchallenged and then came through a very competitive race for the top honours in the Super Stock race before finishing the day with a fourth place in the MRF F1600.
The results (Provisional)
MRF F1600 (Race-1, 10 laps): 1.G Vikash Anand (Chennai) (18mins, 44.147secs); 2.Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (18:47.373); 3.Anindith Reddy (Hyderabad) (18:47.975).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1, 10 laps): 1.Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance) (20;12.688.); 2.Deepak Paul Chinnapa (Race Concepts) (20:14.629); 3.Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooster Performance (20:16.899). Race-2: 1. Narendran (20:13.688.); 2.N Leelakrishnan (Red Rooster Performance) (20:17.457); 3. Chinnapa (20:27.990).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1, 10 laps): 1.Keith Desouza (UNIMEK Racing) (22.43.885); 2.Ananth Pithawalla (Team N1) (22:59.445); 3.Siddharth Praveen (Mega Racing) (23:24.375).
Super Stock (Race-1, 10 laps): 1.Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) (23:00.633); 2.Dean Mascarenhas (Race Concepts) (23:14.863); 3.Deepak Ravikumar (Pvt) (23:14.920).
F1300 Rookie Championship (Race-1, 8 laps): 1.Raghul Rangasamy (WSRF) (16:24.674); 2.Arya Singh (Momentum Motorsports) (16:28.768); 3.C Tejas Ram (WSRF) (16:43.448).
Volkswagen Vento Cup (Race-1, 10 laps): 1.Keith Desouza (Goa) (21:11.542); 2. Niranjan Todkari (Pune) (21:16.422); 3.Karminder Pal Singh (Delhi) (21:19.519).