Motorsport in India is finally back on track after a prolonged break resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. After nine months of no action, the 2020 MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship resumed with Round 2 at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) with some strict safety protocols in place.
Arjun Balu, Jeet Jhabakh, Keith D’Souza win in ITC
Tijil Rao wins two Formula LGB 1300 races
Rithwik Thomas and Raghul Rangasamy win in Super Stock
MRF Saloon Car Championship with Toyota Etios makes its debut
The weekend saw plenty of action with different winners in all three races of the flagship Indian Touring Cars category. Here’s a summary of how Round 2 panned out:
2020 Indian Touring Car (ITC) Round 2 results
The first day witnessed stop-go proceedings as the rain came down, spicing up the action on track. Race Concepts’ Arjun Balu was leading the ITC standings following his two wins in Round 1 all the way back in February. And the extended break didn’t impact his competitive edge one bit. Despite facing some issues with the balance of his Honda City VTEC, he secured a commanding win with an 8 secs lead over Keith D’Souza.
Day two belonged to FB Motorsport and Volkswagen as both their drivers, Jeet Jhabakh and Keith D’Souza scored wins behind the wheel of the new ITC-spec Volkswagen Polo.
Jhabakh enjoyed a trouble-free run to victory in Race 2 as early leader, Balu dropped out of contention with a gearbox issue. This ended up hampering Balu in the next race too as he was handed a five-place grid penalty for the gearbox change. Race 3 saw D’Souza make the best of a strong start, to take a commanding win, ahead of Balu and Jhabakh
1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) - 15:13.588; 2. Keith D’Souza (FB Motorsport) - 15:21.592; 3. Dhruv Mohite (FB Motorsport) - 15:26.575
1. Jeet Jhabakh (FB Motorsport) – 19:11.577; 2. Dhruv Mohite (FB Motorsport) - 19:14.720; 3. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) - 21:12.781
1. Keith D’Souza (FB Motorsport) - 15:22.987; 2. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) - 15:28.096; 3. Jeet Jhabakh (FB Motorsport) - 15:30.188
2020 Formula LGB 1300 results
Momentum Motorsport’s Tijil Rao stood out in the Formula LGB 1300 category after winning two out of four races. M Sport’s Mohamed Ryan ended up winning the reverse grid Race 2, while DTS Racing’s Viswas Vijayaraj won the final race of the weekend.
1. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) – 15:20.044; 2. Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsport) - 15:20.726; 3. Diljith TS (DTS Racing) - 15:25.857
1. Mohamed Ryan (M Sport) - 19:10.071; 2. Karthik Krishna (Hasten Performance) - 19:11.888; 3. Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) - 19:12.884
1. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) - 15:13.237; 2. Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsport) - 15:13.806; 3. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) - 15:19.854
1. Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) - 20:26.904; 2. Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsport) - 20:28.587; 3. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) - 20:29.120
2020 Super Stock Round 2 results
Reigning Super Stock champion Rithwik Thomas, won Race 1 for Race Concepts, taking home his third win in a row. But it was Performance Racing’s Raghul Rangasamy who stole the limelight after finishing on the podium in all three races. He completed Race 1 in 2nd place and went on to win both, Races 2 and 3 the next day.
1. Rithwik Thomas (Race Concepts) - 16:09.642; 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) - 16:15.868; 3. Alisha Abdullah (Race Concepts) - 16:33.443
1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) - 20:08.258; 2. Alisha Abdullah (Race Concepts) - 20:30.072; 3. Vineet Abhiram (Race Concepts) - 20:52.326
1. Raghul Rangasamy (Performance Racing) - 16:10.165; 2. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) - 16:10.728; 3. Alisha Abdullah (Race Concepts) - 16:32.717
2020 MRF Saloon Car Championship results
The round also saw the introduction of a brand new category, the single-make MRF Saloon Car championship using the Toyota Etios. The grid proved to be fairly competitive with three different racers winning each race.
Diljith TS won the debut race, while Chetan Korada and Chandresh Tolia won a race apiece the next day.
1. Diljith TS - 17:04.940; 2. A Balaprasath - 17:12.098; 3. Chandresh Tolia - 17:22.490
1. Chetan Korada - 21:14.775; 2. A Balaprasath - 21:15.945; 3. Diljith TS - 19:12.377+1 lap
1. Chandresh Tolia - 17:18.519; 2. A Balaprasath - 17:19.306; 3. Diljith TS - 17:28.532
COVID-19 safety measures at MMRT
The MRF Indian National Car Racing Championship will be operating in what is essentially a bio-bubble. In addition to all the government mandated SOPs are being followed, this also means that no spectators, guests or media are allowed at the venue. Entry has been restricted to just the competitors with a maximum of two helpers each, along with the race officials.
The next round of the championship will take place at the MMRT once again on November 26-28.
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