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Tharanisingh bags MRF crown in close finish


Chennai, Aug 23: Karthik Tharanisingh clinched the title in the MRF Formula Ford 1600 series in style with a win and a second place on the concluding day of the fifth and final round of the Indian National Racing Championship at the MMRT track here on Sunday.

Tharanisingh, who was trailing championship leader Goutham Parekh by 12 points going into the weekend, won the first race and finished second in the next for a tally of 193 points.

Parekh led pole-sitter Tharanisingh until the last lap in the first race before going off. Tharanisingh ran wide into Turn 4 and then made contact with Parekh, who went off the track and retired. Parekh, however, won the second race after starting eighth to finish behind Tharanisingh in the championship with 187 points.

Also annexing the championship titles in their respective categories were Arjun Narendran of Red Rooster Racing (Indian Touring Cars), Sidharth Balasundaram of Red Rooster Racing (Indian Junior Touring Cars) and Abhinay Bikkani of Race Concepts (Super Stock).

The two ITC races run produced some drama. Bengaluru's Deepak Paul Chinnapa (Race Concepts), winner of the first race on Saturday, scored another by topping the day's first outing, holding off Red Rooster Racing's Ashish Ramaswamy in a tight finish.

The second race ended in a fiery finish as veteran K.E. Kumar, who was involved in an on-track incident in the previous outing, saw his car go up in flames on the penultimate lap leading to a hold-up in the proceedings as the marshals tried in vain to douse the fire which eventually consumed the vehicle.

The race was red-flagged with seven of the eight laps completed. Coimbatore's C. Rajaram (Prime Racing) took the honours as only three of the eight starters finished the race.

Narendran, despite scoring just 12 points from three races, confirmed his championship title in the ITC class with a tally of 171 points while Chinnapa finished second (127), followed by Rajaram (114).

Provisional results:

MRF FF1600 (Race 1, 12 laps): Karthik Tharanisingh (Chennai) 1 (24mins, 54.502secs); CS Tejasram (Chennai) 2 (24:59.078); Arjun Narendran (Coimbatore) 3 (24:59.888). Race 2, 15 laps: Goutham Parekh (Chennai) 1 (25:59.348); Karthik Tharanisingh (Chennai) 2 (26:00.541); Arjun Narendran (Coimbatore) 3 (26:11.650). Championship: Tharanisingh (193 points) 1, Parekh (187) 2, Narendran (170).

Indian Touring Cars (Race 2, 8 laps): Deepak Paul Chinnapa (Race Concepts) 1 (18:00.216); Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooser Racing) 2 (18:01.045); Sivaramakrishnan (Red Rooster Racing) 3 (1:15.782). Race 3, 7 laps: C Rajaram (Prime Racing) 1 (13:46.446); Sivaramakrishnan (Red Rooster Racing) 2 (13:54.199); G Sidhartha Kishore (Performance Racing) 3 (14:02.357). Championship: Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Racing) 1 (171), Chinnapa (127), Rajaram (116).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 1, 8 laps): Sidharth Balasundaram (Red Rooster Racing) 1 (21:02.870); Fahad Kutty (Team Game Over) 2 (21:02.913); Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) 3 (21:16.113). Race 2, 10 laps: Sidharth Balasundaram (Red Rooster Racing) 1 (20:59.395); Fahad Kutty (Team Game Over) 2 (20:59.831); Biren Pithawalla (Team N1) 3 (21:18.191). Championship: Balasundaram (213) 1, Kutty (187) 2, Anant Pithawala (104) 3.

Super Stock (Race 1, 10 laps): Kashif Kapadia (Team Game Over) 1 (21:45.031); Chandresh N Tolia (Team Game Over) 2 (21:45.960); Abhinay Bikkani (Race Concepts) 3 (21:47.810). Race 2: Abhinay Bikhani (Race Concepts) 1 (21:36.001); Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) 2 (21:44.106); Chandresh Tolia (Team Game Over) 3 (21:50.121). Championship: Bikhani (133) 1, Anekar (129) 2, Tolia (102) 3.

Formula LGB 1300 (10 laps): Raghul Rangasamy (Wallace Sports) 1 (19:55.370); Mohit Aryan (Anish Racing) 2 (19:55.748); Sudanand Daniel (Anish Racing) 3 (20:02.147). Championship: Aryan (125) 1, Chetan Korada (Wallace Sports, 108) 2, Rangasamy (91).

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