Close battles in the offing at national racing

August 24th, 2012 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 25 (IANS) Competition is likely to be hotter and closer in more ways than one as the curtain goes up on the third round of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship at the renovated MMRT track in Sriperumbudur near here this weekend.

Of considerable interest is the status of Super Saloon class in the Indian Touring cars series with two of the four races run in Coimbatore in July still “under investigation”, leaving M. Sivaramakrishnan who scored his maiden win in nearly a decade of racing, and veteran Arjun Balu (Tiger Sport Racing) at the top of the leaderboard on 26 and 25 points, respectively.

The two rounds of racing witnessed more than its share of incidents that indicate that there is not much love lost among the competitors some of whom have spent a fortune in a bid to put a fast and reliable car on the grid.

Under the circumstances, it is highly unlikely that any of the racers will lift their foot off the throttle and another round of “fast and furious” action is on the cards over the weekend.

In the Indian Junior Touring Car series, Chennai’s Feroze Khan (76), son of former National champion Ayub Khan, and Mumbai’s Fahad Kutty (75) of Team Game Over, are locked in a head-to-head battle. While Feroze won one race, Fahad topped in the other three.

The situation is much the same in the brand new LGB Formula 4 class where Sudarshana Rao (Rayo Racing) marking his return to racing after a two-season break with a win and a second place finish to head the championship with 43 points.

On his heels is veteran Sarosh Hataria (Wallace Sports) with 40 points from a win and a third place in the only round run in the championship at Coimbatore last month.

Missing out on points has been the experienced Ashwin Sunder, a former National champion, who had a wretched weekend that saw him retiring after running into Vishnu Prasad at Turn-1. He would be keen to get his campaign back on track.

The Formula cars are yet a long way off from delivering optimum performance with the engines still to be bedded down and niggling issues to be sorted out. It is to be hoped that the performance of the cars will improve as the championship progresses.

The competition in the Volkswagen Polo R Cup is no less intense with just 11 points separating the top six of Mihir Dharkar (76), Ameya Walavalkar (76), A. Sandeep Kumar (73), Avdumber Hede (71), Rahil Noorani (67) and Donovan Vaz (66).

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