NRC 2016: Vikash Anand crowned champion
2016 National Champions - Keith Desouza (IJTC), Arjun Narendra (ITC), Vikash Anand (MRF 1600) and Raghul Rangasamy (F1300)
A double win at the finale of the 2016 MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship's F1600 class, aided Vikash Anand to the championship title. The Chennai racer was tied with Karthik Tharani at 138 points, heading into the final round of the championship held at the Madras Motor Racing Track at Sriperumbudur. Whoever came out ahead, would not only win the title, but would also win a ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy shootout. Vikash, having clinched two wins of three races during the weekend, managed to take home the title, and the ticket too. Tharani had won the first race of the weekend, while Vikash had finished second in that particular race in the F1600 class.
"I worked hard to win this championship and I really can't explain how I am feeling right now. Indy is a great opportunity to go abroad and explore new opportunities and learn. I will give my best to be competitive,'' said the happy championship winner, whose title win came after an 18 month hiatus from racing. Over the course of the 5 round championship, Anand won as many as six races, which led him to a total points tally of 206, while Tharani finished second, 10 points adrift.
Vikash Anand en route victory in an MRF 1600 race at the finale of the 2016 MRF MMSC FMSCI National Racing Championship at the MMRT
It was also a particularly good weekend for Raghul Rangasamy. Two wins in the F1300 class ensured that he took the title in the F1300 Rookie Championship. When Super Stock class Race 2 winner, Veeresh Prasad was given a 20 second penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, which pushed him down to fourth place, Rangasamy was in with a chance at the title in this category too. Given that it meant that both drivers were tied for points - 142 apiece - Rangasamy was declared the winner, based on the fact that he had three wins, when compared to Veeresh's two.
UNIMEK Racing's Keith Desouza and Team N1 Racing's Ananth Pithawala went into the final round of the NRC rather close in terms of points in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class. However, it was Keith who emerged from the weekend with 199 points, as opposed to 191 for Pithawala, which ensured that he took home the title.
Arjun Narendran of Red Rooster Racing had already managed to clinch the Indian Touring Car class title the previous round. He ended the season with a double win, which helped him increase his championship lead to 240 points. Second place in the class went to Deepak Paul Chinnappa of Race Concepts, who ended the weekend with 135 points.