Motorsport: Bengaluru teen Sohil Shah wins MRF F1600 race,Pole positions for Arjun Balu, Rithvik Thomas

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Sohil Shah

Chennai: Bengaluru teenager Sohil Shah made the best of the pole-position start to notch a fine win in the premier MRF F1600 category and head the leaderboard in the Round 4 of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT here today, that had a delayed start owing to the rains in the morning. Op

Due to the late start, only two of the four races scheduled for the day could be completed. The remaining races would be added to the six slated for tomorrow which will have an early start 8.15 am. It was a difficult day with changing weather conditions leading to several changes in the schedule.

In the day’s other action, Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay took the honours in the Ameo Class race while Coimbatore ace Arjun Balu of Race Concepts (01:51.474) and team-mate Bengaluru’s Rithvik Thomas (01:59.425) grabbed pole positions in the Indian Touring Cars and the Super Stock categories, respectively.

The lights-to-flag win today was Sohil’s third success in a row, having won the last two races in the previous round last month. With three more races are scheduled for this category tomorrow, Sohil heads the championship with 81 points, well clear of Mumbai’’s Nayan Chatterjee (63).

The finish to the six-lap race (reduced from eight laps), which Sohil dominated while enjoying a commanding lead, was under the Safety Car which came out following an incident on Lap 5. As the Safety Car came in on the last lap, Sohil, rolled his car over the finish line ahead of Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar and Manav Sharma (Faridabad).

“I enjoyed a good lead through the race until the Safety Car period. We all bunched up behind the Safety Car, and I played it safe before crossing the finish line,” said Sohil who has taken a “gap year” after completing 12th standard.

Further down the grid, Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) who was leading the championship coming into this round, and Vishnu Prasad (Chennai) received 30-second penalties for overtaking under yellow flag, denying them any points.

The results (Provisional):

MRF F1600 (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) 1 (11mins, 26.939secs); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (11:28.164); 3. Manav Sharma (Faridabad) (11:28.569).

Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai) (11:38.169); 2. Shubhomoy Ball (Bengaluru) (11:42.374); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) (11:43.025).HSB

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