Chennai: Ashwin Sundar, driving for Narain Karthikeyan’s Speed Team, weathered the challenge of three experienced drivers to clinch the Overall Championship title in Formula 1600CC three-legged (six Races) MRF Challenge series here today.
Starting second in the first race, Ashwin Sundar was challenged by Aussie Chris Wootton and another experienced driver and former national champion, Parthiva Sureshwaren (both guest drivers of Premier Racing Team).
Ashwin finished first with a time of 25mins, 45.091 sec about three seconds ahead of Wootton and about nine seconds before Sureshwaren who came third.
In the second race, Ashwin Sundar took to the lights in the sixth place due to reverse grid system but missed his first position in the second lap. However, Ashwin Sundar with sheer grit and determination pushed the pedal to greater limits to regain the leadership position.
Once he forged ahead of his front runners, he pulled away to win the 15-lapper with ease and in fact posted a better time of 25:44.135 as compared to the first race ahead of Gaurav Gill (premier Racing) and Arjun Balu (NK Speed).
In all, Ashwin proved his mettle winning five of the six races and finished third in the fourth race (second leg) for the coveted Overall Champions title.
The 20-year-old Ashwin, who competes in German Polo Cup for over a season now, stood out amongst the pack pushing aside the well known drivers’ (Guest participants).
The guest drivers comprised Gill, Wootton, Sureshwaren and actor Ajit Kumar competing in the closed championship.
Ajith’s fans thronged the track as he was competing after a gap of five years. He had gear problems and was stuck to handle the car with one gear in Formula 1600 race. Having been stalled with his car in the formation lap, Ajit did not start at the grid and his fans were upset but clapped as he started from the pit lane.
Living up to his tag as the favourites, Welsh Champion, David Jones (Superbikes) and Srikandarajah (165cc, Group D) won the overall championships respectively in their respective two-wheeler classes.
In the Saloon Car race, Sailesh Bolisetti faced with ‘ECU’ problems in the initial lap yielded position to Siddharth Kishore to win from R Sriram and Nithvin S Ravindran.
First Published: Sunday, February 14, 2010, 21:31