Mumbai’s Ameya Walawalkar and his Mars Racing team-mate R Deepak (Chennai) capitalised on a mistake by pole sitter S Narendran (TVS Girling) for a one-two finish in the Formula LGB Swift race in the third round of the JK Tyre FMSCI National Car Racing Championship at the Madras Motor Sports Track in Sriperumbudur near here today.
V Rajvirdhan (Prime Racing), 27, overcame a stressful run up to the Indian Touring Cars race – he busted no less than three engines and borrowed his father, B Vijayakumar’s car to claim his first victory of the season and edged two points ahead of TR Radha Selvaraj (Rad Racing) in the drivers’ standings.
B Balavijay (MotoRev India) put behind disqualification in the second round at Coiumbatore in July to take the chequered flag in an emotional victory in the Indian Junior Touring Cars race ahead of pole-sitter Diljit Shaji (LCT Sigaram Racing) whose car lost pace after seven laps in the 10 lap race.
Braving the peak afternoon heat and humidity, Walwalkar completed a hat-trick of victories to rise to the second place in the championship with 75 points, 23 behind his younger team-mate Deepak. “I had problems with the heat both in the morning qualifying and during the race but I am glad I picked up full points again,” he said.
“The points’ format has changed this season and it did not help that after the first two races I was a full 50 points behind Deepak,” Walakwalkar said. “You need to win races to cover up such a big gap and I am relieved I was able to secure another win after a tough race.”
Narendran’s car spun after braking late at a corner on the third lap and that was all that the Mars Racing drivers, starting second and third on the grid, needed to slip past him. Narendran slid to the seventh place but fought back well to secure his maiden podium finish this season.
If Narendran broke and made his luck on the track, Rajvirdhan needed a sacrificial gesture from his father to notch up his first win of the season. Radha Selvaraj, who was leading the championship with four podium finishes, spun out of the race on the first corner and left Rajvirdhan with the task of not making any mistakes while opening up a comfortable lead.
Former Indian Formula 3 champion N Leelakrishnan (Rad Racing) – who faced engine problems and did not have any time on track before qualifying – rose from fifth in the grid to take second place in his second race of the season while defending champion Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) secured his first podium finish this season.
Chennai lad Vishnu Prasad claimed pole position again when he topped the the Polo R Cup qualification, nearly half a second faster than Avdumber Hegde (Goa). The Polo R Cup races this weekend will also feature two lady drivers from overseas – Natasha Seatter (Malaysia) and Maiken Rasmussen (Denmark)..