After a break of close to three months, the Indian National Car Racing Championship 2021 will resume with COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the MMRT here on December 10, with a 12-race programme scheduled for the weekend and some 100 entrants in the fray across various categories.
The MRF F1600 will headline the weekend card with a triple-header, while the Formula LGB 1300, the Saloon Cars (Indian Touring Cars, Super Stock, Indian Junior Touring Cars) and Volkswagen Polo will have two races apiece in the three-day event.
Of equal significance is the entry-level MRF Saloon Cars category, featuring Toyota Etios. Last season, it made a debut in the National championship, promoted by the Madras Motor Sports Club, with just six entries, but now boasts of a grid of 25 cars representing two teams the Red Line Racing India and Quest Motorsports. The MRF Saloon Cars skipped the first round in September this year, and will offer nine races spread over three rounds. Vehicles in all categories will run on MRF tyres.
MMSC president Ajit Thomas, while welcoming the participants for the second round, said, “At the outset, we need to celebrate the fact that we are able to conduct the championship during this challenging period of the pandemic. It is even more heartening that despite current situation, an increasing number of youngsters are taking to motor racing if one were to go by the spike in entries with each round. The first round in September witnessed the emergence of young talent and we hope they will continue to the perform. Our thanks also to our sponsors, MRF Tyres for their active involvement in the championship.”
Two young guns who stood out in the first round were teenagers Shahan Ali Mohsin from Agra and Bengaluru’s Ruhaan Alva, both products of the National karting championships. Shahan won two of the three races in the MRF F1600 category while Ruhaan (MSport) was adjudged “best rookie” in the Formula LGB 1300.
The highly competitive saloon car races are likely throw up some exciting finishes, notably in the premier Indian Touring Cars class where Race Concepts’ Arjun Balu from Coimbatore, the defending champion, will be again up against Rayo Racing pair of Anindith Reddy and Jeet Jhabakh (both Hyderabad).
The MMRT circuit stood up well to the recent record monsoon rains and looked to be in good trim to host the weekend’s programme.