Chennai: Over 100 entrants with a clutch of teenaged talent, will line up on various grids in the third round of the MRF MMSC-FMSCI Indian national Car Racing Championship commencing at the MMRT circuit here on January 20, with Covid-19 safety protocols.
Due to the Sunday lockdown in Tamil Nadu in the wake of the pandemic, the promoters, Madras Motor Sports Club, have rejigged the schedule for the programme to start a day earlier on Thursday, which will be devoted to practice sessions only, and conclude on Saturday afternoon.
A card of 13 races will be gone through with triple-headers each in the premierMRF F1600, Volkswagen Polo and the MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) categories, while the popular saloon cars class (Indian Touring Cars, Indian Junior Touring Cars and the Super Stock) and the Formula LGB 1300 will have two races apiece.
Due to the pandemic-induced delays, the 2021 championship has spilt into the current year, but the challenging conditions have not deterred the racing enthusiasts if the number of entries is any indication.
If the second round in December was impacted by the monsoon rains, the event this week is expected to be fair in the balmy winter sunshine.
Teenagers Chirag Ghorpade (Bengaluru) and Shahan Ali Mohsin (Agra) have dominated the MRF F1600 category with two wins each in six starts with the former heading the championship table with 105 points.
In contrast, veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) from Coimbatore showcased his vast experience in wet conditions in the second round to notch a double in the ITC category where he enjoys a seven-point advantage over Rayo Racing’s Anindith Reddy (Hyderabad). In third spot and five points adrift is another Hyderabad racer,
Jeet Jhabakh, also of Rayo Racing.
Privateer from Coimbatore, Charen Chandran, heads the IJTC category while the versatile local challenger Deepak Ravikumar tops two classes, the Super Stock for Performance Racing and Formula LGB 1300 for Momentum Motorsport.
The Volkswagen Polo category, with 22 cars on the grid, is extremely competitive as the four races so far have produced as many different winners with Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar heading the points table though not having won a race.
The experienced Fahad Kutty from Mumbai, with two wins in three starts, is comfortably perched on top in the MRF Saloon Cars category that boasts of 21 competitors.