Dominant double for Balu, Feroze, Ashwin
Chennai: While Ashwin Sundar (Dark Don Racing) won two of the three LGB Formula 4 races, Arjun Balu (Tiger Sport India) and local lad Feroze Khan notched a double apiece in their respective classes in the Saloon Car races in the fourth round of the 15th JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship here Sunday.
Ashwin, starting from pole position, dominated the race for a commanding win over arch-rival Saran Vikram (Mars Racing) to jump to the top of the championship standings with a tally of 11 points.
Saran who won one race and finished second in the other two over the weekend, moved to second spot with 86 points, ahead of early leader Sudarshana Rao (82), who had a rather poor outing.
As well as Sundar drove, it was Balu who hogged the limelight with an imperious drive that saw him win his second race of the weekend in the Super Saloon class as the finishing order was the same as the first outing with Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan (Big Foots Racing) second and Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) third.
Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) third.
Driving a Honda City that his elder brother Sanjay put together from scratch, Balu exhibited his racing skills in brilliant fashion though the car was running on softer dampers and without the LSD (Limited Slip Differential) that caused him to ease off after opening up a massive lead over the opening four laps.
The race was red-flagged after eight laps when Vijaykumar Rajvirdhan, running second behind Balu, packed up with a blown engine on the exit of the last corner and the car caught fire leading to stoppage. Rajvirdhan quickly got out of the car and the fire was then put out.
The no-finish, the second of the weekend following his retirement after one lap Saturday, meant Rajvirdhan lost his top position in the championship standings with Balu picking up 50 points from two wins for a tally of 118 points. Rajvirdhan remained in second spot with 93 points while Leelakrishnan moved into third with 81.
"My car had no diff (LSD) and the dampers had gone soft. So, I had to drive hard initially. Yes, it was a good weekend and am happy for my team too for putting together a good car," said Balu whose racing lines over the weekend were just about impeccable as also his driving style that was smooth as silk.
Likewise, Feroze Khan gave a repeat performance of his Saturday`s run as he opened up a big lead early in the 10-lap Indian Junior Touring Car race and had none in his rear-view mirrors for a majority of the drive, a luxury that reflected good preparation of the car by his father Ayub Khan, himself a former National Champion.
Another impressive drive came from Fahad Kutty (Team Game Over) who finished fourth behind Feroze Khan, Emmanuel Clarke (Moto-Rev India) and Diljith Shaji (Eram Group) after starting 22nd to retain his spot at the top of the championship standings.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Polo R Cup double-header threw up two different winners with Ameya Walavalkar taking the honours in the first outing and Sandeep Kumar topping in the second that had a reverse grid formation for the top eight finishers of the previous run.
LGB Formula 4 (10 laps): 1 Ashwin Sundar (Dark Don Racing) (19mins, 48.350secs); 2 Saran Vikram (Mars Racing) (19:49.871); 3 Sarosh Hataria (Dark Don Racing) (20:06.230). Championship standings (top 3): Ashwin Sundar 111 points; Saran Vikram 86; Sudarshana Rao 82.
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