Stage set for Formula 1600

Chennai, March 3 (IANS) The Indian National Racing Championships for four-wheelers resumes this weekend after a four-week break at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Sriperumbudur near here with MRF Formula 1600. It will also feature three categories of saloon cars besides the rookie Formula LGB making for a card of 12 races in the second round commencing on Friday.

The F1600, with 15 cars on the grid, will highlight the weekend’s programme with four races, two each on Saturday and Sunday. Last year’s champion Karthik Tharanisingh has enjoyed a head start, having won both races in the first round held at the same venue in January.

Tharanisingh will be looking to consolidate the early gains by sustaining the fine form he is in. However, despite his dominating start which has put him 20 points clear of the field, he will have to again deal with some serious competition from the likes of Goutham Parekh, Anindith Reddy and Raghul Rangasamy, all of whom are tied on 30 points, ahead of the talented Sandeep Kumar (22).

It is early days yet in the championship with plenty more to play for, and the series promises rich action in the coming rounds. The winner of Formula 1600 will qualify for the Mazda Road to Indy shootout in the United States in December.

Adding spice to the proceedings will be the popular saloon car races which have three grids – the top-end Indian Touring Cars (ITC), Indian Junior Touring Cars (IJTC) and Super Stock — with a total of 38 entries.

The ITC, like the Formula LGB 1300, join the championship after missing the first round. IJTC witnessed some keen competition in the first round that threw up two different winners in the double-header with Keith Desouza (UNIMEK Racing) topping the first outing and Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) taking the honours in the next from a reverse grid.

In Super Stock, Adith K.C. of Race Concepts (Bengaluru) heads the leaderboard with a win and a second place finish while Alisha Abdullah (RAD Racing), a two-wheeler racer who has moved to saloon cars, performed creditably for two podium finishes to be placed second in the championship.

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