4W Racing: Tight battles for National titles in the offing

Chennai:  The stakes and expectations are as high as they can get in the fourth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 to be held at the Madras International Circuit on the weekend of January 27-29.

The two premier categories, MRF F2000 and the Touring Cars comprising three classes, will have three races apiece while four will be run in the Volkswagen Polo Cup, and two each in the Formula LGB 1300 and the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios).

The titles in each of these categories are up for grabs and few points separate the front-runners, thus setting the stage for an exciting finish to the monsoon-interrupted 2022 season that spilled over into 2023.

In what could be a humdinger, the MRF F2000 is headed towards a nail-biting finish with as many as five drivers having realistic as well as mathematical chances (depending on the results) of clinching the championship. With a maximum of 75 points on offer, Sai Sanjay (153), Mohamed Ryan (125), Dillon Thomas Zacharaiah (117), Divy Nandan (113) and Chirag Ghorpade (112) are the front-runners.

Of the lot Salem’s Sai Sanjay has won three races as against two by Bengaluru youngster Chirag Ghorpade who dropped a lot of points with a non-finish in one of the four races last weekend.

Two Coimbatore stars, 10 times National champion Arjun Balu (Race Concepts, 93 points) and former title winner, Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports, 86), head the Indian Touring Cars category. Narendran scored a double in the previous round last weekend to move closer to Balu who retired from the first of the two races due to engine issues. However, three wins in the earlier rounds ensured Balu stayed at the top in the points table.

As per provisional standings, Chennai drivers and Performance Racing team-mates Akkineni Anand Prasad (92) and Raja Rajan (78) who between them have won four of the five races so far, are ahead of the pack in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category. Another Chennai and Performance Racing driver, Ritesh Rai (111) enjoys a healthy 31-point lead over Narendran S (Redline Racing) in the Super Stock class.

The Formula LGB 1300 category has seen the closest races this season with plenty of wheel-to-wheel competition. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) from Mamallapuram and Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj are separated by 15 points in the provisional points table.

Gurugram’s Justin Singh (129) leads Angad Mathroo (119) in the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) category while there is only a 10-point gap among the top three in Volkswagen Polo Cup – Pratik Sonawane (71) form Pune, Raaj Bakhru (66) from Mumbai and Bengaluru’s Adtiya Swaminathan (61).

Incidentally, Sandeep Kumar won all four Polo Cup races last weekend, but is not eligible for championship points since he is a guest driver.

Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok said: “On the evidence of last weekend’s races, there is much to look forward to in the final round as we bring closure to the 2022 season that stretched into 2023. We at the MMSC take this opportunity to thank our sponsors MRF Tyres, the competitors and the Media for their wholehearted involvement in various roles.”


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