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  • Winning against Afghan, only thing on Blue Tigers' mind: Stimac
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National Car racing : exciting weekend action in offing

Chennai, Aug 16 (UNI) The MRF MMSC-FMSCI Indian National Car
Racing Championship enters a critical phase as the stage is set for
the fourth and penultimate round at the MMRT here on Saturday, as
the battle for points among the drivers escalate.
Incidentally, international Aditya Patel of Chennai is set to make his
saloon car debut in the championship and will be racing at this track
after a gap of 11 years.
With the front-runners in the championship stakes tightly bunched
in all the categories that will be on view over the next two days, the
premier MRF Formula 1600, Indian Touring Cars, Super Stock and
Volkswagen Ameo Class, the expectations of exciting and close
racing was high.
In the previous rounds, winner-picking was a hazardous guess and
it would be same this weekend with a clutch of India’s top racing
drivers, ranging from bubbling teenagers to seasoned veterans,
lining up on the grid, each seeking precious championship points.
The MRF F1600, with four races scheduled over two days and a
maximum of 100 points on offer, has four drivers, Nayan Chatterjee
(Mumbai, 63 points), Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad (58), Bengaluru
teenager Sohil Shah (56) with two wins from four starts and A Bala
Prasath from Coimbatore (43), heading the leaderboard, but wary of
others who have them in their sights.
The popular Indian Touring Cars category, a triple-header for this
round, has developed into a bitter fight involving veteran Coimbatore
racer Arjun Balu (80 points), driving a Race Concepts-prepared Honda
Vtec car, and championship leader Chennai’s Karthik Tharani (86) in
a factory supported Volkswagen Vento.
However, Tharani, winner in two of the five outings and serving a one
race suspension, is sitting out this round.
Tharani is replaced by Aditya Patel, the 2007 Formula Rolon champion,
who has been a participant in various international touring cars series
abroad (VW, Audi, GT Asia) in the past decade.
“Obviously, I am quite excited to be racing at the MMRT, virtually my
home circuit, after over a decade (his last outing was in 2008, a one
off race)'', Aditya said.
''Interestingly, my Formula Rolon car in 2007 when I won the championship
for NK Racing, was prepared by Arjun Balu and his brother Sanjay. So, it’s
quite extraordinary that this weekend, I am racing against Arjun”, he said.
The Super Stock category, to be run on a combined grid with the ITC class,
presents a similar picture with Bengaluru’s Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts)
leading RP Raja Rajan (Performance Racing) from Chennai by eight points.
The pair has won three races apiece and with three more to be run this
weekend, a thrilling battle between the two is on the cards.
The VW Ameo Class, which was upgraded to National Championship status
and boasting of 18-car grid, has three drivers, Pratik Sonawane (Pune), Jeet
Jhabakh (Hyderabad) and Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai), in that order
separated by eight points with Delhi’s Anmol Singh Sahil in fourth, a further
nine points behind.
UNI GV 1220
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