Stage set for final blast at MMRT

Chennai, Aug 20 (IANS) The MMSC-FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship 2015 concludes this weekend at the MMRT track, celebrating its Silver Jubilee year, with about Rs.70 lakh on offer for the winners and stiff battles expected for the titles in different categories.

Competitors across five categories — MRF Formula Ford 1600, Formula LGB 1300, IndianTouring Cars, Super Stock and Indian Junior Touring Cars — have fought tooth and nail over the season to give themselves a shot at not just the National championship titles, but also lucrative awards.

While Arjun Narendran of Red Rooster Racing has already sealed the championship in the popular Indian Touring Cars class which will have three races this weekend instead of two.

Narendran is also in the reckoning in the showpiece MRF FF1600 category where Goutham Parekh leads Karthik Tharanisingh by just 12 points. Narendran is a further 10 points behind and an outsider for the title.

Parekh enjoyed a fruitful fourth round with a win and a second place behind Narendran to take the championship lead while Tharanisingh, though claiming pole position, received a drive-thru’ penalty for a jump start in Race 1 which impacted his entire weekend as he finished third in both races.

“We are excited to see another successful year of the MRF FF 1600 Championship. It is always a boost to any championship to have the title being decided in the final race. We have had a good mix of experienced drivers along with some promising rookies. We look forward to a good finale to the end the season on a high,” J. Anand, managing director of JA Motorsport, which prepare the FF1600 cars, said.

Parekh has 162 points as against Tharanisingh’s 150 points, both having won three races each, while Narendran is on 140 and two wins this season.

C.S. Tejasram is the highest placed rookie in fourth position, on 72 points with Chetan Korada one place behind him on 63.

“I have not led the Championship since the Round 1, so it is good to be ahead again. Karthik is really quick, so I will have a real fight on my hands this weekend,” Parekh said.

“I am confident that I can fight for the championship heading into the final round. I had bad luck in the last round which cost me points. I will try to make sure that this does not happen this weekend,” Tharanisingh asserted.

Sidharth Balasundaram of Red Rooster Racing (163 points) and Fahad Kutty of Team Game Over (151) have dominated the Indian Junior Touring Cars class.

They have won four races each while Race Concepts team-mates Varun Anekar (111) and Abhinav Bikhani (93) head the Super Stock category, both with three race wins apiece.

Anish Racing’s Mohit Aryan (98) aided by four back-to-back wins and Chetan Korada of WSRF (90) lead the LGB Formula 1300 class.

Korada, however, need to watch out for airline pilot Sudanand Daniel (Anish Racing) who scored a double in the previous round to be in third spot with 72 points.

In all, nine races have been scheduled for this weekend with two outings on Saturday and the remaining on Sunday followed by prize-distribution ceremony trackside.

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