Khushlani and Hataria lead at the JK Tyre Racing Championship
The Kari Motor Speedway was treated to a rather unusual spectacle this weekend. On the one hand, it was the site of the 16th JK Tyre Racing Championship, and on the other, the track also served as the Service Park and Parc Ferme for the many cars that were taking part in the Rally of Coimbatore. And while a race-cum-rally weekend at the same location can be something of a challenge, it was a right treat for those who had gathered along the track - they were able to watch the races, and also see rally cars throwing themselves around the KMS during the SSS.
So what were the races that fans were treated to at the first round of the JK Tyre Racing Championship? There was the JK Racing India Series (that features the Formula BMW cars that raced in the JK Racing Asia Series last year), the Formula LGB4 cars and the Volkswagen Polo R Cup cars.
JK Racing India Series
Akhil Khushlani led the pack at the JK Racing India Series in Coimbatore
The Racing India Series had a talented bunch of drivers lining the grid. Winners of last year's national racing and karting championships made the grid, as did other gritty drivers such as Chittesh Mandody and Saran Vikram, along with Arjun Maini and Akhil Khushlani. When the races kicked off though, it was Khushlani who proved to be the fastest of the lot, leading all three races by a huge margin over the rest of the pack. Indeed, the driver does have some amount of experience over the other racers in these cars, having contested the 2009 season of Formula BMW for Red Rooster Racing. Of course, Khushlani was pleased with his weekend, declaring that he'd had a good start to the season of racing. However, he was also quick to add that the coming races would be tougher as the other drivers got used to the car.
Finishing behind Akhil in Race 1, were Arjun Maini and Vishnu Prasad, while Race 2 saw Chittesh Mandody and Akhil Rabindra finish second and third, and in Race 3 it was Vishnu Prasad and Arjun Maini who completed the rostrum.
Sarosh Hataria in action in Formula LGB 4 at JK Tyre Racing Championship Round 1
The Formula LBG4 races saw some interesting battles as well, with Dark Don Racing's Sarosh Hataria and Ajay Kini streaking off into the distance on more than one occasion. But they did have some amount of competition in the form of Vishnu Prasad from Meco Racing and SaranVikram from Team Mars. As things turned out in the first race, it was a scrap between Dark Don's Sarosh Hataria and Ajay Kini who ended up trading places all through the race. Towards the end of the race, Kini tapped Hataria, pushing him into a spin, and crossed the chequered flag first. Vishnu Prasad crossed the line second, with Saran Vikram in third.
The results, however, didn't stay that way for too long with Kini getting a ten-second penalty for the altercation with Hataria, while Prasad was disqualified because his car was underweight. This moved Saran Vikram into first place, with Karthik Krishna taking second place and Tejas Ram finishing third. The other two races, however, were won in a commanding fashion by Hataria. Saran Vikram and Vishnu Prasad finished second and third in Race 2. In Race 3, Prasad finished second, while Ameya Bafna took his first podium in the LGB category.
Volkswagen Polo R Cup
Rahil Noorani leading the inaugural race during Round 1 of Polo R Cup 2013
The Volkswagen Polo Cup races are always a treat to watch. There's nothing like loud tin-tops muscling each other out of the way, is there? Well, the first Polo Cup race was a lights to flag victory for Rahil Noorani, in his third season in the series. Chasing Rahil down was South African driver Jeffrey Kruger, who finished second, while Prashant Tharani finished the race third. Perhaps if the race had gone the full race distance, things would have been different. However, rookie driver Diviraj Thakran ended up hitting the tyre wall at Turn 7, toppling the car. This brought out the Safety Car, and the race ended behind the SC itself.
In the reverse grid Race 2, Kruger was able to take advantage of an incident between Niranjan Todkarni and Angad Singh Matharoo, to move up into second place really quickly. Up ahead was Karthik Tharani who held onto the lead for as long as he could. But it wasn't to be his day. Kruger moved up into first, while Tharani had to settle for second. Noorani, who started the race eighth finished third, managing to take his second podium of the day.
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