Driver Narendran crowned national racing champion
Chennai: Coimbatore-based Arjun Narendran chalked up his fifth win in a row and clinched the title in the Premier Indian Touring Cars class at the MMRT track as the curtain came down on the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Championshiship here on Sunday.
Anindith Reddy from Hyderabad (Formula F1600) and Arya Singh (Formula LGB 1300 National and Rookie) had sealed the titles on Saturday while Karminder Pal Singh of Delhi won the championship in the Volkswagen Ameo Cup finishing 138 points ahead of Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar.
The names of champions in the Saloon car categories — Indian Junior Touring Cars, Super Stock and Esteem Cup — are being withheld pending post-race scrutiny.
Anindith Reddy, who did not have the best of weekends in the triple-header with one non-finish, a second and third spot, is now eligible for a ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy shootout in the United States later this year.
Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar dominated the MRF F1600 class winning all the three races over the weekend for a total of six this season, but finished second in the championship behind Reddy who too won six outings.
Much of the focus on Sunday was on the Indian Touring Cars race with defending champion Arjun Narendran leading his closest rival Bengaluru’s Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) by 12 points. As such, Narendran needed to finish third to annex the title, but he did much better by winning the race and thus defending his crown.
The race itself, it was a bit processional after Narendran eased past the two front-row pair of B Vijayakumar and Vidya Prakash in the second lap. Once in front, Narendran barely turned a wheel wrong and won as he pleased with team-mate Ashish Ramaswamy finishing second ahead of Vidya Prakash.
Championship leader coming into the final weekend, Chinnappa who conceded his advantage on Saturday when he finished seventh following a brake failure and started today’s race in the same position, had too much to do.
He got caught in traffic, had a spin and came in fourth, but still clocked the fastest lap of the race. He finished second in the championship behind Narendran.
“It has been a tough season. We had some issues with the car in the first round at Coimbatore, and it took us a while to set things right. At one stage, I was trailing Deepak Paul (Chinnappa) by some 49 points, but back-to-back wins here made a huge difference.
“I am happy that everything came together during the second half of the season, and of course, I am thrilled to have won back-to-back championship,” said Narendran who last season had won eight of the 10 races.