Chennai: Former rally champion Arjun Balu of Tiger Sport stamped his class and authority on the Indian Touring Cars series with a stunning win at the third round of the 15th JK Tyre-FMSCI National Rally Championship here Sunday.
Equally impressive was Mumbai`s Fahad Kutty of Game Over who completed a fine double to open up a big lead in the Indian Junior Touring Cars series with another eye-catching performance.
Balu, who had won the opening race Saturday but was penalised 20 seconds for a jump start to finish second, was flawless in the second outing. He built on an early lead with a series of blinding sub-two minute laps that showcased his racing skills.
Finishing behind Balu were Vijaykumar Rajvirdhan of Prime Racing and Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan of Big Foots Racing.
"The track conditions were quite tricky and at one point I thought I had a flat tyre and wanted to pull in. But I eased off over the last couple of laps as I didn`t want to take any chances. I dedicate this win to Karivardhan for the start he gave me in my motorsport career," said Balu referring to the late Sundaram Karivardhan, who had groomed many a racing talent.
The 29-year-old Kutty, starting eighth on the grid, cut through the field. Once ahead, he held off Diljith Shaji of Eram Group despite the rear bumper coming loose.
Kutty`s teammate Kashit Kapadia, also from Mumbai, finished a distant third.
Later, Ashwin Sundar of Dark Don Racing put in a commanding display to win the LGB Formula 4 race that saw a safety car period following crashes that took out four cars, including first race winner Saran Vikram of Mars Racing.
Sundar barely put a wheel wrong as he opened up a sizeable lead early after starting third. Once in front, he steadily increased his advantage to win from the Rayo Racing pair of Varun Nathwani and Sudarshana Rao.
Honours were shared in the Volkswagen Polo R Cup series. Veteran Ameya Walavalkar won the first race from Sailesh Bolisetti and Sandeep Kumar by a massive margin. In the next outing that started with a reverse grid, Ajay Kini held off Mihir Dharkar and Walavalkar in a tight finish.
The results (all 10 laps):
LGB Formula 4: 1 Ashwin Sundar (Dark Don Racing) (22mins, 00.182secs); 2 Varun Nathwani (Rayo Racing) (22:06.269); 3 Sudarshana Rao (Rayo Racing) 3 (22:07.393).
Indian Junior Touring Cars: 1 Fahad Kutty (Team Game Over) (22:39.788); 2 Diljith Shaji (Eram Group Sports Club) (22:40.761); 3 Kashit Kapadia (Team Game Over) (23:05.332).
Indian Touring Cars (Super Saloon): 1 Arjun Balu (Tiger Sport) (20:04.406); 2 Vijaykumar Rajvirdhan (Prime Racing) (20:11.191); 3 N Leelakrishnan (Big Foots Racing) (20:15.347).
Volkswagen Polo Cup R Cup (Race 1): 1 Ameya Walavalkar 1 (20:30.378); 2 Sailesh Bolisetti (20:32.018); 3 A Sandeep Kumar (20:39.259); Race 2: 1 Ajay Kini (20:40.108); 2 Mihir Dharkar (20:40.432); 3 Ameya Walavalkar (20:40.434).