Fittipaldi clinches MRF Challenge title

Chennai, Jan 31 (IANS) The curtain came down on the first round of the National Racing Championship and the MRF International Challenge series in which Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi clinched the title at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) track in Sriperumbudur near here on Sunday.

Fittipaldi, the 17-year-old grandson of former Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, enjoyed a fruitful weekend as he won two of the four races which earned him the required points to clinch the title with a tally of 244 points while Colombian Tatiana Calderon finished second (199), just eight ahead of Nikita Troitckii of Russia (191).

Meanwhile, in the MRF F1600 class of the National Racing Championship, defending champion Karthik Tharanisingh got off to a rousing start by achieving a double as he won both the races on Sunday. Tharanisingh was in a league of his own in the first race and later in the day, he cut through the field after starting fourth on the reverse grid for a double.

Mumbai’s Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) and Adith K.C. from Bengaluru (Race Concepts) easily won the Indian Junior Touring Cars (IJTC) and Super Stock races which produced some thrilling moments as both the winners were pushed hard in the early stages of the 10-lapper.

Much of the attention was expectedly on the two MRF International Challenge races with the championship still in balance despite Fittipaldi’s comfortable lead. The Brazilian, starting from pole position, blitzed his way to an easy win in the first race which effectively put him beyond reach in the championship stakes.

In the second race, Alessio Picariello from Belgium was even more impressive as he destroyed the quality field after starting from pole in the reverse grid and won by a huge margin while 16-year-old Mick Schumacher finished a distant second after seeing off some close attention from Calderon through the gruelling 20-lap race.

For India’s Tarun Reddy, the 17-year-old local, his wretched weekend continued as a throttle problem in the day’s first race pushed him to the back of the field and then finished ninth in the next outing. On Saturday, he was sixth in the first race and then was taken out in the next when in the lead.

Mathana Kumar from Trichy topped the Honda CBR 250 support race, winning a battle with Chennai’s Dinesh Kumar while teenager Rajiv S. completed the podium.

Provisional classifications:

MRF International Challenge – F2000 (Race 1, 15 laps): Pietro Fittipaldi (Brazil) 1 (25mins, 30.069secs); Harrison Newey (England) 2 (25:31.285); Nikita Troitckii (Russia) 3 (25:38.064). Race 2 (20 laps): Alessio Picariello (Belgium) 1 (31:53.856); Mick Schumacher (Germany) 2 (32:10.076); Tatiana Calderon (Colombia) 3 (32:11.187).

National Racing Championships – MRF F1600 (Race 1, 7 laps): Karthik Tharanisingh 1 (11:59.967); Goutham Parekh 2 (12:02.986); Anindith Reddy 3 (12:05.762). Race 2 (10 laps): Tharanisingh 1 (17:14.196); Raghul Rangasamy 2 (17:14.654); Anindith Reddy 3 (17:16.931).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (10 laps): Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) 1 (20:55.530); Biren Pithawalla (Team N1) 2 (20:59.908); Sri Hariram R (Pvt) 3 (21:09.653).

Super Stock (10 laps): Adith KC (Race Concepts) 1 (21:04.425); Veeresh Prasad (Race Concepts) 2 (21:25.155); Alisha Abdullah (RAD Racing) 3 (21:26.496).

Support Race – Honda CBR 250 (8 laps): Mathana Kumar S (Trichy) 1 (16:50.446); Dinesh Kumar D (Chennai) 2 (16:50.633); Rajiv S (Chennai) 3 (16:51.380).

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