Datta, Balu shine at national racing tourney

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Coimbatore, June 24 (IANS) Ashwin Datta (MRF F1600) and veteran Arjun Balu (Indian Touring Cars) hogged the limelight as the second round of the Indian National Racing Championship concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Sunday.

Datta, a 19-year-old from Chennai who is making his debut in the MRF F1600 class, finished the weekend by winning all the three races.

Balu, 43, marked his return to racing after a five-year break by dominating the premier Indian Touring Cars class where he won both the races in imperious style.

In the morning, Datta was off to a great start as he made three places in the very first lap before an incident brought out the safety car.

On re-start, Datta wasted little time to ease past the front-runners and gradually opened up a commanding lead to emerge a creditable winner with Bengaluru teenager Yash Aradhya and Chennai’s Nabil Hussain following him over the finish line.

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Datta, in just his third full season of racing, having graduated from junior Formula competitions, sustained the momentum by winning the third MRF F1600 race in the afternoon, this time, from flag to lights despite two Safety Car interruptions.

Earlier on Sunday, Datta, representing Momentum Motorsports, clinched his second podium in Formula LGB 1300 class races by finishing second behind Nabil Hussain (MSport) while Sohil Shah (MSport) came in third. Incidentally, the trio won a race apiece in this weekend’s triple header.

For Balu (Race Concepts), it was a memorable comeback this weekend. Watched by his family, he started the race from fourth on the reverse grid, but quickly moved to second as the pack braked into Turn-1.

By the second lap, Balu had taken the lead when an incident brought the Safety Car out. On re-start, the former champion stepped up the pace, unaware of the hectic battle raging behind him. Ashish Ramaswamy (ARKA Motorsports) moved up from 11th to finish a second ahead of veteran B Vijayakumar (Prime Racing).

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–IANS

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