Chennai, July 22 (IANS) Arjun Narendran of Coimbatore underlined his dominance by achieving a double in the premier Indian Touring Cars category while Goutham Parekh and Raghul Rangasamy split the two races in the MRF F1600 class as the third round of the Indian National Racing Championship concluded here on Sunday.
With the championship winner in the F1600 eligible for the Mazda Road To Indy shootout in the United States later this year, there was considerable jockeying for points.
At the end of the triple-header this weekend, 19-year-old Arjun Datta maintained his overall lead with 96 points after two rounds, ahead of Rangasamy (84), Parekh (68) and Sandeep Kumar (67). With two more rounds and six races to be run in the coming weeks, the championship is wide open.
The first race in the MRF F1600 was a stop-go affair due to two stoppages following collisions and was reduced to a total of five laps.
Chennai-based Parekh, first runner-up in 2015 season before taking a two-year break, started fourth on the reverse grid and moved to the front with Sandeep Kumar and Nabil Hussain in close attendance. The order remained unchanged as they crossed the finish line.
In contrast, the second MRF F1600 race ran its course of eight laps without incidents as 25-year old Rangasamy, starting from pole position, gradually pulled away from Parekh while behind them, Datta managed to hold off Sandeep Kumar to complete the podium.
For Rangasamy, who hails from the nearby temple town of Mamallapuram, it was his first-ever win in the championship.