SRIPERUMBUDUR: Pune’s Prateek Sonawane and Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad won a race each in the Volkswagen Ameo Class category of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship which concluded at the MMRT, here on Sunday.
The day began with heavy showers as the organisers could not do much but wait for the skies to clear up. The second half luckily witnessed some sunshine as the action was ready to unfold.
In the Volkswagen Ameo Class category, after eight races over three rounds this season, Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay (305 points), winner of the first race on Saturday, leads the championship in this category followed by Sidharth Mehdiratta (298) from Lucknow and Sonawane (294).
The first action of the day which began in heavy rain witnessed a 10-car pile-up in the MRF F1600 race and lasted barely 300 metres as pole-sitter Yash Aradhya spun when he put wheels into a puddle, thus losing grip. The cars behind him, with nowhere to go, crashed into one another resulting in the abandonment of the race. None of the drivers suffered injuries barring cuts and bruises, but with 10 cars badly damaged, it was decided to cancel the day’s scheduled three races and run them in the next round in September.
“The next round in September, will thus have seven races in MRF F1600 category. It was an unfortunate incident with Yash running into a puddle and spinning. With so many cars badly damaged, we decided to put off today’s three races and have them in the next round,” said Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok.
In Race-1 of the ITC category, that was declared “wet”, Balu and Patel were locked in a thrilling fight at the head of the field. Starting from pole, Balu maintained his position with Patel in close attendance.
Three laps from the finish, Patel moved past Balu, but slipped back to second in the next lap when he ran wide at the last corner. Balu moved to the front and went on to win.
In Race-2, run in fair weather and reverse grid, the three VW Ventos of Patel, Dhruv Shivaji Mohite and Ishaan Dodhiwala, switched to slicks, while Balu, starting eighth, remained on wet tyres. It was not long before the four moved to the front with Mohite pulling off a fine win ahead of Patel and Balu. The third race in this category, was a virtual procession with Balu, starting from pole, winning comfortably and unchallenged, followed by Patel and Dodhiwala. His two wins this weekend, took Balu’s tally to 148, way ahead of Mohite on 119.
Spearheading a podium sweep for Race Concepts team, Sudanand Daniel, an airline pilot based in Singapore, won a dramatic wet first race in the Super Stock category for his maiden success of the season, with Rithvik Thomas and R Rajashekar in tow. RP Rajaran (Performance Racing) took the honours in Race-2 ahead of Rithvik Thomas and Daniel. In the next outing, Thomas survived a close fight with Daniel for his second win of the weekend. Rajarajan completed the podium.
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (12mins, 49.794secs); 2. Aditya Patel (Rayo Racing) (12:50.491); 3. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (Rayo Racing) (12:58.907). Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (Rayo Racing) (21:19.565); 2. Aditya Patel (Rayo Racing) (21:20.682); 3. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (21:28.378). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Arjun Balu (15:11.978); 2. Aditya Patel (15:17.508); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (Team Rayo Racing) (15:28.324).
Super Stock (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Sudanand Daniel (Race Concepts) (14:15.475); 2. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) (14:15.787); 3. R Rajashekar (Race Concepts) (14:45.952). Race 2 (10 laps): 1. RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) (22:15.115); 2. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) (22:27.432); 3. Sudanand Daniel (Race Concepts) (22:28.759). Race 3 (8 laps): 1. Rithvik Thomas (16:15.162); 2. Sudanand Daniel (16:15.951); 3. RP Rajarajan (16:40.747).
Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (20:09.577); 2. Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh) (20:12.811); 3. Siddharth Mehdiratta (Lucknow) (20:13.363). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Prateek Sonawane (Pune) (16:00.024); 2. Sidharth Mehdiratta (Lucknow) (16:01.383); 3. Shobhomoy Ball (Bengaluru) (16:06.481).