Arjun powers to victory in Touring Cars race

Feb 5, 2024

Arjun leading the Indian Touring Cars race at the MIC on Saturday.

Arjun leading the Indian Touring Cars race at the MIC on Saturday.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) scripted a masterclass as he overcame fading light and a drying track afternoon showers to win the only race of the day in the third round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship at the Madras International Circuit (MIC) here on Saturday.

The eight-lap race for the touring cars witnessed some drama even before it commenced. Pole-sitter and Balu’s team-mate Gurunath Meiyappan, the championship leader in the Indian Touring Cars (ITC) category, retired with a turbo issue on the outlap itself and could not take the start.

Balu, the 48-year-old multiple champion from Coimbatore, who had qualified P3, made a great start and overtook Ritesh Rai, the private entrant from Chennai, by Turn-2 in the opening lap and never looked back. His vast experience was in evidence as he managed past the water puddles around the track with a near-flawless drive. While Rai came in second, Mumbai’s Biren Pitawalla (N1 Racing) completed the podium.

Behind the ITC cars on the combined grid, Deepak Ravikumar led a podium sweep for Performance Racing, in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class with Akkineni Anand Prasad and Srinivas Teja following him home.

Provisional results (8 laps):Indian Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Arjun Balu (Coimbatore, Race Concepts) 16:14.970s; 2. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Pvt.) 16:16.353; 3. Biren Pithawalla (Mumbai, Team N1) 16:16.907.

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) 16:40.998; 2. Akkineni Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) 16:59.021; 3. Srinivas Teja (Chennai, Performance Racing) 17:07.753.

Super Stock (Race-1): 1. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai, Pvt.) 17:43.689; 2. T.S. Dilijith (Thrissur, DTS Racing) 17:47.217; 3. Jarshan Anand (Chennai, DB Motorsport) 15:50.751 + 1 lap.

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