Defending champion Raghul Rangasamy, hailing from Mamallapuram, pulled off a grand double in the premier MRF F1600 category on the opening day of the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT here on Friday.
Rangasamy thus jumped five spots (from seventh to second) on the leaderboard. He lies just seven points behind championship leader Sohil Shah from Bengaluru, who drew blank in Friday’s Race-3 due to a drive-shaft problem. He finished second and third in the other two races.
With four races of the final round to be run over the next two days and a maximum of 100 points to be won, the championship is finely poised. Shah (114 points), Rangasamy (107) and Nayan Chatterjee (97) occupy the top three spots. Behind the trio are Aradhya (86), Vishnu Prasad (85) from Chennai and Faridabad’s Manav Sharma (70).
In the day’s first race, Aradhya scripted a lights-to-flag victory, with seasoned Rangasamy in close attendance. Shah did well to finish third after starting eighth on the grid. Rangasamy then took charge of the remaining two races that he started from pole position, winning both quite comfortably.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru’s Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsports) took the pole in the Formula LGB 1300 category where Chennai-based Ashwin Datta has virtually clinched the title, enjoying a 50-point lead going into this weekend’s double-header. Datta’s closest rival, Shah, opted out of the two races, preferring to focus on the MRF F1600 championship.
Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay clinched pole position in the Volkswagen Ameo Class, ahead of two guest drivers from South Africa, Tasmin Peper and Jeffrey Kruger. Bandyopadhyay currently leads the championship in this category.