The MRF MMSC Indian National Car Racing Championship kicked off its 2021 season at the Madras Motor Race Track. The weekend saw the JA Motorsport-prepared MRF Formula1600 cars make a return after a season’s break due to the pandemic.
Round 1 also saw Volkswagen Motorsport India kick off a new chapter with the Polo Championship returning to replace the Ameo Cup. So read on to catch up on all the action.
Shahan Ali Mohsin snatched pole position for the first race – his first in single seater racing. However, it was K Suriya Varathan who won the race after starting from third on the grid. Mohsin’s race was hampered by an overheating clutch that resulted in a jump start and a drive-through penalty.
But Mohsin, who is a multiple-time national karting champion, stamped his authority in the next two races. The 17-year-old took a commanding win in Races 2 and 3, after starting both races from second on the grid. “In the morning’s first race, I started from pole position, but lost positions due to an overheating clutch. It was a tough outing. In the next two races, both of which I started from P2, it was fairly comfortable,” he said.
1. K Suriya Varathan - 14mins 25.983secs
2. Deepak Ravikumar – 14mins 33.571secs
3. Dillon Zachariah – 14mins 37.196secs
1. Shahan Ali Mohsin – 17mins 03.129secs
2. Chirag Ghorpade – 17mins 08.117secs
3. Rishon Rajiv – 17mins 10.117secs
1. Shahan Ali Mohsin – 13mins 40.878secs
2. Ashwin Dutta – 13mins 47.046secs
3. Chirag Ghorpade – 13mins 47.567secs
Volkswagen Polo Championship
The revived Polo championship was supposed to make its debut last year, but the pandemic threw a spanner in the works. At last, the one-make championship featuring the new Polo racer got underway at the MMRT with a 22-strong grid. We did get the chance to drive the new Polo race car earlier this year; you can head here to read our review.
Aditya Swaminathan and Pratik Sonawane picked up a win each in the opening round of the championship.
1. Aditya Swaminathan – 14mins 00.605secs
2. Anmol Singh Sahil – 14mins 01.650secs
3. Saurav Bandyopadhyay – 14mins 03.285secs
1. Pratik Sonawane – 19mins 46.949secs
2. Ritesh Rai – 19mins 48.035secs
3. Sidharth Mehdiratta – 19mins 48.806secs
Indian Touring Cars
The Indian Touring Cars class produced more than its share of drama. Reigning champion Arjun Balu clinched victory in the first race, by a significant margin from the Rayo Racing pair of Anindith Reddy and Jeet Jhabakh. Balu is driving a Honda City VTec this season, while Reddy and Jhabakh are driving the 1.8-litre turbocharged Polo.
In the next race, it was Reddy who took the win from pole position. He stayed in the lead throughout the race, despite surviving contact with Balu, who ended up third behind Jhabakh.
1. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) – 15mins 10.042secs
2. Anindith Reddy (Rayo Racing) – 15mins 14.040secs
3. Jeet Jhabakh (Rayo Racing) – 15mins 18.511secs
1. Anindith Reddy (Rayo Racing) – 22mins 46.971secs
2. Jeet Jhabakh (Rayo Racing) – 22mins 47.931secs
3. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) – 22mins 56.702secs
In the Super Stock class Deepak Ravikumar secured victory in both the races. The 34-year-old was the busiest competitor over the weekend, participating in three different categories.
1. Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing) – 16mins 06.931secs
2. RP Raja Rajan (Performance Racing) – 16mins 07.189secs
3. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) – 16mins 12.150secs
1. Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing) – 23mins 43.580secs
2. Divy Nandan (Race Concepts) – 24mins 01.372secs
3. Alisha Abdullah (Race Concepts) – 24mins 04.515secs
Formula LGB 1300
Ravikumar also picked up a win in the Formula LGB 1300 class’ first race. The second race was won by Mohit Aryan after Ruhaan Alva, who crossed the line first, was handed a 20 sec penalty for overtaking under yellow flag, which dropped him to fifth.
1. Deepak Ravikumar (Momentum Motorsport) - 20mins, 04.575secs
2. Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsport) – 20mins 10.045secs
3. Amir Sayed (MSport) – 20mins 12.571secs
1. Mohit Aryan (Quest Motorsport) – 17mins 36.308secs
2. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) – 17mins 36.822secs
3. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) – 17mins 42.901secs
Indian Junior Touring Cars
The Indian Junior Touring Cars class made a return to the championship after two seasons. Charan Chandran won the first race, which had only two finsihers, after Varun Anekar was disqualified for a technical infringement. K Srinivas Teja took victory in Race 2,
1. Charan Chandran (privateer) - 16mins 53:207secs
2. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing)
1. K Srinivas Teja (Performance Racing) – 23mins 59.409secs
2. Charan Chandran (privateer) – 23mins 59.737secs
3. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Performance Racing) - 24mins 00.711secs