Coimbatore, June 23: Teenager Ashwin Datta and Arjun Balu delivered standout
victories in the MRF F1600 and Indian Touring Cars categories, respectively, to set
alight the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing
Championship at the Kari Motor Speedway, here on Saturday.
Also notching wins were Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) in the Super
Stock class, Chris D’Souza (Unimek Racing) from Goa (Indian Junior Touring Cars)
and Erode’s Vinod S (Team N1) in the Esteem Cup. The trio emerged unscathed
from an incident-filled race of combined 16-car grid that witnessed two Safety Car
The two Formula LGB 1300 races witnessed close competition with Sohil Shah
(MSport) from Bengaluru winning the first outing after a hectic scrap with team-mate
Nabil Hussain from Chennai while Ashwin Datta took the second race that witnessed
a couple of crashes, but drivers escaping unhurt. Datta, only 19, drove brilliantly after
dropping from second to fourth and overtook three cars to jump to the front and
eventually win the race.
In sharp contrast, Ashwin Datta earlier enjoyed an untroubled ride to victory in the
first of the three MRF F1600 races scheduled for the weekend. Having started from
pole position, Datta drove a near-flawless race to win by the proverbial country mile.
Behind him, Raghul Rangasamy, hailing from the temple town of Mamallapuram,
fought his way to second spot ahead of Chennai’s Nirmal Umashanker. The
remaining two races will be run on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kolhapur’s Dhruv Mohite put in a command performance to win the
Volkswagen Ameo Cup race, initially losing track position after starting from pole.
Finishing second behind him were Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad), who led briefly, and
Thane lad Saurav Bandyopadhyay.
For 43-year old Balu from Coimbatore, it was a comfortable lights-to-flag victory.
Starting from pole position, he gradually built up a sizeable lead with Ashish
Ramaswamy (ARKA Motorsports) and veteran Vidyaprakash (Prime Racing) in tow.
However, Ashish, winner of two races in the first round in February, retired after his
engine expired and it allowed Vidyaprakash and team-mate B Vijayakumar, also
from Coimbatore, to second and third positions which they maintained till the finish.
“Everything went well in the race and my focus was to put in consistent laps without
sacrificing my pace. I could see that after three laps, I had pulled a decent gap. More
importantly, this victory is dedicated to my team Race Concepts who worked so hard
in the past few days to prepare the car. We were a bit nervous after the last minute
changes to the car to comply with the regulations. I always respected my competitors
and so did not take anything for granted despite qualifying on pole position,” said
Balu who began his motorsport career in 1992 as a racer before getting into rallying
in 1995, followed by an odd appearance in racing competition.
The results (Provisional, all 15 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F1600 (Race 1): 1. Ashwin Datta (Chennai) (15mins, 52.195secs); 2. Raghul
Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (15:59.749); 3. Nirmal Umashanker (Chennai)
Indian Touring Cars (Race 1): 1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (16:38.541); 2. D Vidya
Prakash (Prime Racing) (16:46.128); 3. B Vijay Kumar (Prime Racing) (16:47.238).
Super Stock (Race 1): 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (22:43.752); Deepak
Ravikumar (Infinite Piston) (22:45.806); 3. K Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing)
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 1): 1. Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing)
(22:54.799); 2. Prabhu AS (ARKA Motorsports) (22:57.507); 3. Nikunj Vagh (Team
N1) (23:01.287). Esteem Cup (Race 1): 1. Vinod S (Team N1) (22:50.081). Only one
Formula LGB 1300 (Race 1): 1. Sohil Shah (MSport) (19:20.665); 2. Nabil Hussain
(MSport) (19:21.179); 3. A Balaprasath (DTS Racing) (19:22.636). Race 2:. Ashwin
Datta (Momentum Motorsports) (17:32.137); 2. Rupesh Sivakumar (MSport)
(17:51.678); 3. Nabil Hussain (MSport) (17:55.093).
Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race 1): 1. Dhruv Mohite (Kohlapur) (17:44.976); 2. Jeet
Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (17:49.205); 3. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) (17:54.758).
About Madras Motor Sports Club
The Madras Motor Sports Club has been the pioneer in developing and promoting motorsport in India since 1953, and we look to further improve in the years to come. It is the club’s endeavor to provide more opportunities for competitors and to this end, it has chalked out a progressive program for 2017. From the days of Sholavaram , MMSC built its own racetrack which was inaugurated in 1979 and secured its FIA Grade-2 international certification in 2015, making it the only club which owns such a facility. The club has organised the Porsche Super Cup, Formula Campos, Formula Asia, Asian touring car championships, Formula 3, Tata Prima Truck racing championship, the Asian 2-wheeler racing championships besides a host of other motorsport events over the years. The club also has active participation for its events from vehicle manufacturers who also use the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) extensively for testing their products.