Sandeep, Arjun score fluent wins in racing nationals

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Chennai, July 21 (IANS) Tamil Nadu racers Sandeep Kumar (MRF F1600) and Arjun Narendran (Indian Touring Cars) chalked up impressive victories to grab the spotlight in the third round of the national championship at the Madras Motor Racing Track here on Saturday.

Starting from pole position, local boy Sandeep won virtually untroubled though he trailed Nirmal Umashankar briefly before moving into the lead midway through the first of the eight-lap race, according to a release.

Nirmal, a 16-year old also from Chennai started second on the grid but was subsequently penalised for a jump-start with a drive-through which he failed to obey leading to a 30-second penalty which placed him 12th and last after a spin at Turn-1.

The 24-year-old Sandeep barely turned a wheel wrong to emerge the comfortable winner.

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“It was tough at the start as Nirmal got past me when the lights went out. But I took him midway through the first lap itself and after he spun, I had a good lead,” said Sandeep, a practicing Corporate lawyer.

“The win helped me to earn some big points (25) after my disappointing run in the first round last month when I finished fourth and had two DNFs in the next two races. On Sunday, we have two more races and I hope to pick up more points,” he added.

Further down the grid, championship leader Ashwin Datta, 19, who had scored a triple in the previous round at Coimbatore, got stuck in the mid-grid bunch and finished a distant seventh in his maiden race at the MMRT while Raghul Rangasamy and Goutham Parekh came in second and third.

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An equally impressive winner was Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), the defending champion in the Indian Touring Cars, as he vanquished seasoned Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) in a battle between two Coimbatore stars.

Narendran, after sitting out of the earlier two rounds, marked his return with a brilliant drive to beat Balu, who had a double in the previous outing at Coimbatore last month.

Finishing behind Narendran and Balu was Bengaluru’s Ashish Ramaswamy (Arka Motorsports) who continues to lead the points table with a tally of 83.

Bengaluru’s Varun Anekar led a 2-1 finish for Race Concepts team in the Super Stock class with Abhinay Bikkani in tow and K.Srinivasa Teja (Performance Racing) completing the podium.

Goa’s Chrys D’Souza (Unimek Racing), Vinod Subramaniam from Erode (Team N1) topped the Indian Junior Touring Cars and Esteem Cup category, respectively, and which were run concurrently with the Super Stock class.

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In the Volkswagen Ameo Cup, Thane’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay notched his third career win with a measure of comfort after initial fight.

Finishing behind Saurav were Anmol Singh Sahil from Ghaziabad and pole-sitter Dhruv Mohite (Kolhapur).

–IANS

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