Arjun Balu (No.39) on way to a double in the Indian Touring Cars category at the Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT in Chennai on December 12, 2021.
Arjun Balu (No.39) on way to a double in the Indian Touring Cars category at the Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT in Chennai on December 12, 2021.

Two wins for Chirag Ghorpade in MRF F1600, double for Arjun Balu, Charen Chandran

Chennai, December 12, 2021

Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) and Bengaluru schoolboy Chirag Ghorpade hogged the limelight with dominating performances in their respective categories of the Indian National Car Racing Championship on a rain-marred day at the MMRT here on Sunday.

Balu, the 47-year old ace from Coimbatore, brought into play all his vast experience to complete a double in the premier Indian Touring Cars class after starting from P3 (reverse grid) in a “wet race” following a bout of heavy showers in the afternoon.

Having won the first race yesterday, Balu started behind two Rayo Racing polos of Anindith Reddy and Jeet Jhabakah and, played a waiting game before getting a jump on the two Hyderabad drivers for another brilliant win.

Chirag, who had won the first race in the MRF F1600 category on Saturday, topped the third today of the triple-header after local teenager Dillon Zacharaiah took the honors in the second outing for his maiden win in this class.

Earlier, Dillon, 18, drove a fine race starting from P2 on the reverse grid, to notch his maiden win in this class from a fast-finishing Suriyavarathan (Coimbatore) and Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore).

Late in the evening, with light fast fading, Chirag scored a lights-to-flag win to complete a double, in a race that was reduced to six laps from the scheduled eight. Agra’s Shahan Ali Mohsin, who finished second, was later docked a 10-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane which pushed him to sixth. The penalty moved Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj to second place and Ashwin Datta (Chennai) to third.

Reflecting on his double and scoring his third win in four starts, Balu said: “A very special drive today. The odds were against me with two VW Polo cars in front and the conditions very tricky. But I had the confidence that I could pass both the cars and I thought I read the track conditions very well. Yes, a textbook drive it was.”

Also achieving a double was Coimbatore’s private entrant Charen Chandran who won both the races in the Super Stock category while Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) from Bengaluru ended Deepak Ravikumar’s (Performance Racing) winning streak in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class by winning Race-2 today.

Salem’s Sai Sanjay and Ritesh Rai (Chennai) won a race apiece in the Volkswagen Polo category double-header after surviving tight finishes.

The seasoned Chennai driver Raghul Rangasamy (Quest Motorsport) won the Formula LGB 1300 race from P5 start, ahead of Bengaluru’s Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) and Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) from Nellore.

Mumbai’s Fahad Kutty completed a profitable weekend as he won two of the three races and finished on the podium in the other in the MRF Saloon Cars category.


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