Coimbatore: Ananth Shanmugam held off Vishnu Prasad in heart-stopping action-packed last two laps in the FB02 series to clinch the first ever win of his career as Round 2 of the JK Tyre Racing championship concluded here on Sunday.
Ananth started from the front in Race 2 in the reverse grid formation in the JK India series, the premier event in the championships, and took advantage to eke out a memorable victory, his first after graduating from Karting level.
Karthik Tharani took the last podium place in Round 2 after finishing seventh in Race 1 early in the morning.
Championship leader Vishnu finished second in both the races on Day 2 behind the pole sitters but extended his lead and domination too. He finished second behind Krishnaraj Mahadik in Race 1.
After the safety car came Race 2 when Akhil Rabindra's car spun, Ananth's lead was cut down considerably but he managed to keep Vishnu behind him.
They went almost wheel to wheel with Vishnu pushing hard but Ananth held off nerves to take the chequered flag ahead of the much experienced Vishnu.
"It's the first win of my career and kudos to Vishnu that he did not make any contact. I knew he will dive in first corner, I saw him coming but I did not make any mistake," said an elated Ananth.
Promising racer Kush Maini, 15, was in podium contention in both races as he was running third but was overtaken in last laps in first corner. He finished fifth in the morning race and fourth in Race 2.
Vishnu said he was disappointed since he could win any race today.
"It was really disappointing. I think the safety car came at the wrong time because I was catching up with Ananth fast.
But he defended well," he said.
Asked if the win was satisfying since the pole was not result of qualifying but due to reverse grid, Ananth said, "The race results actually do not reflect the effort and true performance."
In the Formula LGB 4 category, Ajay Kini made it three out of three by winning today's race ahead of Raghul Ramaswamy and TS Diljith. It was yet again an intense competition with the podium finishers were within a second to each other.
Ajay, who is a pilot by profession, had won both the races yesterday. .
In the Volkswagen Vento Cup, Karminder Singh won the race while Ishaan Dodhiwala and Anindith Reddy Konda finished second and third, respectively.
In Race 1 of the day in India series, starting from pole, Krishnaraj pipped Vishnu Prasad by 0.658 seconds to take win.
Akhil Rabindra, who started eighth, gradually made his way up and made a brilliant move on Kush Maini in the first corner of the last lap to take third position on the podium.
While it was engrossing battle between championship leader Vishnu and Krishnaraj for the win, 15-year-old Kush Maini also had a great race and except for the last-lap lapse, the youngster continued to impress. Till the last last lap he was running for podium for conceded two spots.
Vishnu passed Krishnaraj in the first lap but the latter got his position back in the third lap and Vishnu went wide.
Sandeep Kumar went off the track in the eighth lap, bringing safety car on to the track. The action began again with four laps to go and Rabindra took advantage in a great way.
Maini struggled with his gear shift when safety car made way for action and that cost him speed, allowing Rabindra to take last available spot on the podium.
Maini finished fifth as Akash Gowda too passed him in dying seconds of the race. Behind him were Ananth Shanumugam, Karthik Tharani, Sandeep Kumar, Costantino Peroni and Nayan Chatterjee.