Chennai: Defending champion Raghul Rangasamy, hailing from the nearby temple town of Mamallapuram, pulled off a grand double to put himself in contention for the title in the premier MRF F1600 category on the opening day of the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT, here today.
Rangasamy, 26, shrugged off an otherwise inconsistent season so far, and won two of the three races today that were carried over from the rain-affected Round 4, besides finishing second behind Bengaluru’s Yash Aradhya in the other outing to pick up as many as 68 points.
Rangasamy thus jumped five spots to move from seventh to second on the leaderboard. He lies just seven points behind championship leader 18-year old Sohil Shah from Bengaluru who drew blank in today’s Race-3 due to a drive-shaft problem after finishing second and third in the other two races.
With four races of the final round to be run over the next two days and a maximum of 100 points to be won, the championship is finely poised. Shah (114 points), Rangasamy (107) and Nayan Chatterjee (97) occupy the top three spots. Behind the trio are Aradhya (86), Vishnu Prasad (85) from Chennai and Faridabad’s Manav Sharma (70).
In the day’s first race, Aradhya scripted a lights-to-flag victory with seasoned Rangasamy in close attendance while Shah did well to finish third after starting eighth on the grid. Rangasamy then took charge of the remaining two races that he started from pole position, winning both quite comfortably.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsports) qualified for pole position in the Formula LGB 1300 category where Chennai-based Ashwin Datta has virtually clinched the title, enjoying a 50-point lead going into this weekend’s double header. Datta’s closest rival, Sohil Shah, opted out of the two races, preferring to focus on the MRF F1600 championship which he leads.
Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay took pole position in the Volkswagen Ameo Class ahead of two guest drivers from South Africa, Tasmin Peper and Jeffrey Kruger. Bandyopadhyay currently leads the championship in this category.
The results (Provisional, all 8 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F1600 (Carry Over from Round 4) (Race-2): 1. Yash Aradhya (Bengaluru) (13mins, 33.380secs); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (13:33.616); 3. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (13:39.154). Race-3: 1. Raghul Rangasamy (13:31.752); 2. Sohil Shah (13:33.747); 3. Vishnu Prasad (Chennai) (13:37.234). Race-4: Raghul Rangasamy (13:29.886); 3. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (13:35.915); 3. Yash Aradhya (13:37.252).
About Madras Motor Sports Club
Since its humble beginnings in 1953, the Madras Motor Sports Club has grown in stature as the hub of motorsport activity in India. Having moved from Sholavaram to its present location in Sriperumbudur in 1979, MMSC has kept pace with changing times by upgrading facilities. At a cost of about Rs 20 Crore, the MMSC built a pit complex comprising 20 garages, VIP hospitality suites and a viewing gallery, on the eastern side, apart from a second Paddock on the western side with its own short circuit. The Control Room too was upgraded with state-of-the-art hardware while the track itself was improved to meet the exacting FIA standards for Grade-2 certification. The facilities are also extensively used by various vehicle manufacturers for testing their products, displays and corporate days.