Chennai, July 23: Anindith Reddy from Hyderabad kept his wits about him after a bad start to post a fine win the MRF FF1600 race as did Bengaluru's Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) who scripted his third consecutive victory in the premier Indian Touring Cars class in the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship (INRC) at the MMRT track, Sriperumbudur, near here on Saturday (July 22).
While Reddy made the best of the opportunities that came his way to move from third to first, Chinnappa, after easing past pole-sitter and defending champion Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance), maintained a consistent pace for a well-deserved win.
Also tasting victories on the day were AS Prabhu (Red Rooster Performance) in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class, team-mate Sudanand Rajan (Esteem Cup) and Deepak Ravi Kumar of Quickshift Racing in the Super Stock category after original winner Varun Anekar was docked 30-second penalty for "dangerous driving".
Rookies dominated the Formula LGB 1300 class race with Kolkata schoolboy Arya Singh (DTS Racing) finishing ahead of Momentum Motorsport team-mates Pune's Aanjan Patodia and Yash Aradhya from Bengaluru. Arya, only 16, had won the Student Cup on Friday.
South African guest driver, Devin Robertson drove a near-flawless race to win the MRF MMSC Volkswagen Ameo Cup race comfortably ahead of Delhi's Karminder Singh and A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai). Robertson enjoyed an untroubled outing leaving the rest to battle for minor positions.
Reddy, after slipping to third at the start of the eight-lap race, managed to fight his way back into the lead after front-runner Raghul Ramaswamy was docked a drive-through penalty for jump start and Chetan Korada ran wide. Reddy then hung on to the slender lead to win from Chennai lads Korada and Sandeep Kumar.
"It was a tough race. I had a bad getaway and lost two places behind Raghul and Chetan. However, in the very lap itself, Chetan made a mistake going into the back "D" and it allowed me to move up one spot. In the next lap, Raghul went in for a drive-through penalty for jump start and I broke clear.
"Thereafter, I concentrated on keeping my track position and only once Chetan came close which was when I set my fastest lap. I am happy that it all came together today and it should be fun in the next race on Sunday with the reverse grid start," said Anindith after chalking up his third win in five outings in the championship whose winner at the end of the season earns a right to participate in the Road To Indy shootout in the United States.
Chinnappa had a great start and eased into the lead by Turn-1 and then drove extremely well to keep Narendran at bay. The duo was separated by mere inches most of the eight laps while pulling away from the field. Chinnappa, while clocking the fastest lap (01:54.228) of the race defended his line very capably to prevent Narendran from passing him.
Behind the front-runners, Ashish Ramaswamy fought and beat his team-mate Nikanth Ram to third place.
"I had a good start and passed Arjun going into Turn-1. Thereafter, it was a pretty close race. We both had some advantages in some of the sections. I had some issues with the car with handling and understeer, , but I am happy that I was able to defend my track position," said Deepak Paul.
Arjun Narendran conceded that he lost to a quicker driver. "At the start, I had wheel-spin and he passed me. I stayed with him through the eight laps, but was not able to find a way past him. I too had some issues with the understeer."
The results (Provisional - all 8 laps unless mentioned)
MRF FF1600 (Race-1): 1. Anindith Reddy (Hyderabad) (13mins, 51.925secs); 2. Chetan Korada (Chennai) (13:52.904); 3. A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (13:53.497).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Deepak Paul Chinnappa (Race Concepts) (15:42.078); 2. Arjun Narendran (Red Rooster Performance) (15:42.599); 3. Ashish Ramaswamy (Red Rooster Performance) (16:05.018).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-2, 7 laps): 1. Prabhu AS (Red Rooster Performance) (15:57.245); 2. Kamlesh Parmar (Team N1) (16:04.112); 3. Arjun M Zaveri (Team Game Over) (16:44.437).
Super Stock (Race-2, 7 laps): 1. Deepak Ravi Kumar (Quickshift Racing) (15:34.021); Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (15:53.594); 3. Swajit Achrekar (Team N1) (15:55.816).
Esteem Cup (Race-2, 7 laps): 1. Sudanand Rajan (Red Rooster Performance) (15:13.237); 2. Charan Chandran (Red Rooster Performance) (15:14.695); 3. Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) (15:15.014).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-1): 1. Arya Singh (Kolkata, DTS Racing) (18:56.746); 2. Aanjan Patodia (Pune, Momentum) (18:57.218); 3.Yash Aradhya (Bengaluru, Momentum) (18:57.516). Rookie Cup: 1. Arya Singh; 2. Aanjan Patodia; 3. Yash Aradhya.
MRF MMSC Volkswagen Ameo Cup (Race-1): 1. Devin Robertson (South Africa) (15:39.262); 2. Karminder Singh (Delhi) (15:50.095); 3. A Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (15:56.471).