MRF Formula Championship ends on a dramatic note

    MRF Formula Championship 2011

    Published On Feb 13, 2011 08:00:00 AM


     MRF Formula Championship ends on a dramatic note

    High-drama continued on the closing day of the MRF Formula Championship with race one of the F1600 class being a relatively calm affair with exception of the high flying start (pun intended!) Vishnu Prasad and Arjun Balu, who were side-by-side on the starting grid, got entangled after the lights went out with Prasad ending up in the air against the pitwall while Balu managed to continue. In the front, Jordan King once again catapulted himself in the lead from race start with Jukka Honkawori and Ashwin Sundar chasing him down- recreating the scenario from race one held on the opening day. Jordon steadily pulled away though leaving the Gulf Oil duo battling amongst them. King also managed to post a new course record in the process- a 1:39.8 lap, officially marking the first occasion where the lap time has dipped below the 1:40 mark in recent years.

    Things were busier at the back of the grid as M&N trio of Arjun Balu, Gaurav Gill, Amer Beg were bunched up behind new entrant Martin Galpin who adopted a very defensive and unorthodox driving style in order to avoid a pass. But all his efforts couldn’t hold for long as the trio managed to pressurise and ultimately pass the British driver with Balu and Beg finishing eighth and ninth while Gill had to retire in lap 12 due to a blown engine- a surprise since the cars run stock units which should translate to longer reliability over racing distances.

    As a result, an engine change sent Gill to the back of the grid for race three- as did Arjun Balu and Ashwin Sundar who were on seventh and eighth grid spot due to an engine change as well. A thoroughly enthralling race three was expected as Karthik Shankar of Team Sidvin India was on pole due to the top-five reverse grid with Alex Waters beside him. Jukka Honkawori was on P3 with Jordon King alongside him. As the lights went out, Ashwin rocketed off with a sterling start and managed to pass the majority of mid-field in the opening lap itself- passing Jordon King and slotting himself in third place behind Honkawori. Karthik managed to hold back the hard-charging Gulf duo for the opening couple of laps. Jordon King meanwhile tried an over-ambitious move at the fast C4 on lap two and ended up off-track, damaging his transmission and consequently ending his race rather quickly.

    Ashwin thereafter was trying to make his way past his teammate and the resulting squabble gave Karthik Shankar some room and he consequently pulled away a little but not for long as Ashwin and Jukka ultimately managed to make their way past the leader. Ashwin was however not to be content with second and managed to squeeze in past bravely at C4- the same spot where Jordon had overcooked it. Despite dropping a wheel and kicking up dust, the Chennai racer was able to make it stick- also thanks in part to the ‘teammate consideration’ from the Finnish driver who didn’t choose to close the door on him. The duo finished completed a 1-2 for Gulf Oil while Karthik Shankar finished a distant third.      

    In the Group D 165cc race, it was pole starter Sarath Kumar of Ten10 Racing who took the chequered flag, after withstanding a thorough duel with A Prabhu of Moto-Rev India, Sarath managed to keep his nose out of trouble this while Prabhu's team mate D Dinesh Kumar took the final podium spot after managing to stretch a lead from fourth-place finisher Sameer Venugopal of Apex Racing.

    In the Superbike races, it was K Rajini who controlled race one from the get go, with Sumit Lucas and Vivek Pillai finishing second and third. Race two however, ended early for Rajini as he went off-track at C2 while in the lead. As a result Sumit Lucas took the lead of the race while a four-way battle raged behind him for second. In the end, it was Vivek Pillai who managed to make it stick to take second while Japanese rider Yoshsinto Konno made a surprise move towards the fag end to take third place.

    In the Super Saloon class, it was once again Siddharth Kishore of Performance Racing who took the chequered flag but after a close duel with teammate Sivaramakrishnan which lead to a photo-finish; the gap between the two being only 0.048 seconds! Krishna Jeet Cola of FRK Racing took a distant third.

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



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