Pune: The battle for Road To Indy shootout resumes at the MMRT track in Sriperumbudur, near here, on Friday after a five-month break when the third round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship gets underway with MRF F1600 headlining the programme comprising 14 races.
The MRF F1600 is one of the most competitive events as a ticket to the coveted Mazda Road To Indy shootout in the United States is on offer for the champion driver at the end of the season. The winner of the shootout is eligible for a scholarship of USD 200,000.
Last year, Karthik Tharani took part in the shootout contested by 21 drivers from across the World, but was not among the top six who qualified for the final 30-minute race.
The two rounds of the MRF F1600 so far this year have witnessed extremely close competition for top honours. Anindith Reddy from Hyderabad heads the championship with 93 points.
The weekend’s schedule includes the Volkswagen Ameo Cup which replaced last season’s Vento Cup. The double-header in the one-make series dished out exciting fare last weekend in Coimbatore with Karminder Singh (Delhi) and Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) winning one race apiece.
The first round of the 2017 MMSC fmsi National Drag Racing Championship for four-wheelers is also in the programme with practice runs on Saturday followed by the final sprints on Sunday.
For the first time this season, the saloon cars in the top-end Indian Touring Cars, Indian Junior Touring Cars and Super Stock will come on the same card along with the entry-level Formula LGB 1300 which also has a Rookie class that provides an option for youngsters moving up from karting to open-wheel racing.
MMSC’s continuing efforts to attract fresh and young talent, especially among students has led to the introduction of a Student Cup where the competitors will drive the Formula LGB 1300 cars.
As the name suggests, the category is open to college students.
“I am happy to say that the Student Cup has attracted good number of entries and it is our hope that this category will throw up talent among youngsters who will get a taste of open-wheel racing,” said Vicky Chandhok, Chairman of the Meet.
The three races in the premier Indian Touring Cars class will be the other highlight of the weekend. The previous outing in Coimbatore witnessed exciting duels between Red Rooster Performance and Race Concepts, the two front-running teams.