Arjun Balu, Fahad Kutty seal championship title, Suriya Varathan trumps MRF F1600 field
Chennai, February 12, 2022
Veteran Arjun Balu and teenager Suriya Varathan, both from Coimbatore, showcased their driving skills with superb wins in their respective categories in the fourth and final round of the Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT here on Saturday.
The 47-year old defending champion Arjun, who qualified for pole in the morning by setting a lap record of one minute, 49.023 seconds in a Honda City, recorded his fifth win of the season and with that the championship in the Indian Touring Cars category with one more race left.
The 18 -year old Varathan, scored a fluent win from pole in the premier MRF Formula 1600 class.
Varathan drove brilliantly in the eight-lap MRF F1600 race starting from pole despite being constantly followed by Agra youngster Shahan Ali Mohsin and Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade. He not only survived the close attention but also a Safety Car period following an on-track incident, which left the drivers with a three-lap sprint to the finish.
Ghaziabad’s Anmol Singh Sahil roared to his second consecutive win in the Volkswagen Polo category, but Sandeep Kumar (Chennai), with a third place finish behind Pune’s Oshan Kothadiya, continues to lead the championship, enjoying a healthy 61-point advantage with two more races to be run on Sunday
Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) came up with impressive display to win the Formula LGB 1300 race in style, ahead of two Momentum Motorsport rivals, championship leader Tijil Rao from Bengaluru and local ace Deepak Ravikumar.
Teenager Tijil consolidated his position on the leader board and requires only 12 points from the last race to be run on Sunday, to clinch the title in this category
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s 38-year old Fahad Kutty (Redline Racing) recorded his fourth win of the season in the MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) category to seal the championship in this class. His team-mate Anand Prasad from Chennai, returning to active racing after a 14-year break, took the honours in the second race of the day
“I had won the first race of the season, but suffered a crash thereafter which shook my confidence. However, I had some good practice and test sessions in the car and managed to put it all together today,” said Varathan who is currently placed third in the championship behind Shahan Ali and Chirag Ghorpade.
Balu, on the other hand, left nothing to chance as he was quick off the line from pole and built up a massive lead for a comfortable win.
“It is certainly great to win the championship. It has been a very challenging season as the team had to deal with a lot of issues.” said Balu who moved to 79 points for an insurmountable lead over his nearest rival, Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabakh, with a maximum of 12.5 points on offer in the final race of the season.