National Car Racing, Round 1: Chetan Surineni, Abhay Mohan win; Biren Pithawalla, Diana Pundole triumph

Chennai, Feb 17 (IANS) Bengaluru teenagers, Chetan Surineni and Abhay Mohan emerged triumphant in the MRF Formula 2000 and MRF Formula 1600 races, respectively, to enjoy a winning start to their campaigns in the fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2024 which commenced at the Madras International Circuit, here on Saturday.

Earlier, Mumbai’s Biren Pithawalla (N1 Racing) pulled off a fine win in the premium Indian Touring Cars class while Performance Racing’s Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwalla from Chennai topped the Indian Junior Touring Cars segment and Chandigarh’s Angad Matharoo (Buzzing Hornet Motorsport) topped the Super Stock category.

Late in the evening, Pune’s Diana Pundole won the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) race with ease in a race interrupted by a safety car period following a three-car collision.

Meanwhile, Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj and Arya Singh from Kolkata took the front row in that order for their team, DTS Racing, after a start-stop-start qualifying session interrupted by a red flag due to an on-track incident.

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The eight-lap race in the MRF Formula category witnessed some fine action. Pole-sitter 17-year-old Jaden Rahaman Pariat from Shillong looked poised to win in the F2000 class going into the last lap when disaster struck.

“There was some issue with my car and I had to switch off and switch on eight times in the last lap. Luckily, I had a sufficient lead and managed to finish second,” said a disappointed Jaden after he virtually gifted a win to Surineni, 17, who was trailing throughout the race. Another Bengalurean, Tarun Muthaiah finished third.

In contrast, the 15-year-old Abhay Mohan comfortably won in the Formula 1600 class ahead of the Mumbai pair of Zahan Commissariat and Raaj Bakhru who was docked a 20-second penalty for a jump start.

Biren, starting from pole, was off to a good start and held off Ritesh Rai (Arka Motorsport) with cousin Ananth Pithawalla (N1 Racing) running third. The position remained unchanged until the latter half of the eight-lap race when Ananth squeezed past Rai at Turn-3 with contact between the two and moved into P2 behind his cousin Biren. In the penultimate lap, Ananth retired when the left front tyre, which was on a slow puncture, burst, and Rai regained the second spot.

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By then, Biren had pulled off a sufficient lead to win handily, followed by Rai and Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing), making his debut in this class.

The results (Provisional, all 8 laps unless mentioned):

MRF Formula 2000 (Race-1): 1. Chetan Surineni (Bengaluru) (12:49.401); 2. Jaden Rahman Pariat (Shillong) (13:20.579); 3. Tarun Muthaiah (Bengaluru) (13:58.255).

MRF Formula 1600 (Race-1): 1. Abhay Mohan (Bengaluru) (13:49.827); 2. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai) (14:00.386); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (14:23.370).

Indian Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Biren Pithawala (Mumbai, Team N1) (15:21.359); 2. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Arka Motorsports) (15:22.782); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:34.211).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:35.231); 2. Srinivas Teja (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:41.732); 3. Nikunj Vagh (Mumbai, Team N1 Racing) (15:53.915).

Super Stock (Race-1): 1. Angad Matharoo (Chandigarh, Buzzing Hornet Motorsports) (16:48.478); 2. Balaprasath (Coimbatore, DTS Racing) (16:52.781); 3. Anirudha Arvind (Chennai, Redline Racing India) (16:54.402).

MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) Race-1: 1. Diana Pundole (Pune) (18:10.588); 2. Anirudha Arvind (Chennai) (18:15.446); 3. Jai Prashanth (Coimbatore) (18:15.850).

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–IANS

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