COIMBATORE: Vishnu Prasad has been winning podiums for years since his karting days-there were a few seasons when he drove everything from karts to single seaters to touring cars-and Saturday was no different here at the Kari Motor Speedway when he raced to win Formula LGB race with a dominating run on the Day 1 of 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship.
Seasoned Vishnu Prasad, driving from team MSport staved off a stiff challenge from Sandeep Kumar of Dark Don Racing and teammate Raghul Rangasamy to win the highly competitive opening race in the Formula LGB 4.
Vishnu took the chequered flag in 18 minutes 03.844 seconds, while Sandeep needed 18:04.983 to streak past the finish line.
The flagship Euro JK18 category saw Karthik Tharani claiming the coveted first race as he won the 15-lap contest in 15 mintes 29.526 seconds. The Race 2 had to be stopped just before the formation lap was to be taken as a few cars developed technical issues that would have taken more time to get fixed before the track closure time. The race was moved to Sunday meaning the Euro JK18 racers will have three races on the plate on the final day.
Pune’s Sahil Shelar, who once drove in Volkswagen Polo Cup before shifting to Europe was back in action but he had terrible time on track and finished ninth in a field of 12 racers. Baroda’s Mira Erda, only woman racer on the Euro grid finished 10th while two-Sudarshan Rao Karwah and Nayan Chatterjee of Mumbai--failed to finish.
In the Suzuki Gixxer Cup, defending champion Joseph Matthew was at his imperious best once again, taking the first race of the season in 14:15.877 minutes
Joseph was over 3 seconds faster than Aizawl’s Malsawmdawngliana and Bengaluru’s Syed Muzamil Ali, who was a further 3 seconds behind.
The Red Bull Road to Rookies was once again dominated by the boys from the north-east, with Zothanmawia and Andy Lalhmangaihsang taking the first two places. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia from Mizoram finished third.
Euro JK 18: 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai) 15 mins 29.526 seconds, 2. Nirmal Uma Shankar (Chennai) 15:31.424, 3. Manav Sharma (Faridabad) 15:34.487.
Formula LGB 4: 1. Vishnu Prasad (MSport) 18:03.844, 2. Sandeep Kumar (Dark Don) 18:04.983, 3. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) 18:11.014.
Suzuki Gixxer Cup: 1. Joseph Matthew (Chennai) 14:15.877, 2. Malsawmdawngliana (Aizawl) 14:19.122, 3. Syed Muzamil Ali (Bengaluru) 14:19.181.
Red Bull Road To Rookies: 1. Zothanmawia (Aizawl) 14:23.901, 2. Andy Lalhmangaihsang (Aizawl) 14:47.701, 3. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia (Mizoram) 14:50.264.