Euro JK: Tharani crowned 2018 champion after Race 4 win, Chatterjee ends P2
The title battle closed up on Day 1 of the 2018 Euro JK series season finale with Karthik Tharani and Nayan Chatterjee having closed up well on Ashwin Datta. The fight went to the wire after Chatterjee dominated Race 3 at Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.
The Mumbaikar started the penultimate race on pole and had a trouble-free run where he survived a safety car re-start as well to win his second consecutive race of the weekend but he could only drew level on points to Tharani after the Chennai-born driver finished second.
Tharani did not have a straightforward race as he dropped places at the start. But he picked up pace and passed Sudarshan Rao and Brayan Perera to slot into fourth behind the fighting duo of Arya Singh and Yash Aradhya.
Singh was chasing Aradhya for second and finally found a way past on the final lap but Tharani did better as he passed both to take second with Singh completing the podium and Aradhya fourth. Manav Sharma also closed in on the fight but was fifth in the end.
Perera was sixth with Datta only seventh as his title hopes started to diminish hugely. Rao was eighth from Mira Erda, Parth Ghorpade and Nirmal Uma Shanker with Kush Maini the lone retirement for whom the safety car was pulled out.
With the title to be decided, the final race because even more interesting with the Top 6 reverse as the contenders were to start fifth and sixth respectively. Chatterjee was the one to have a better start to jump to third ahead of Sharma.
However, things turned for worse for Chatterjee when Sharma hit the Mumbaikar which forced him to retire, thereby securing the title for Tharani - who just had to finish the race which he eventually did it in style.
The Chennai-born racer did not content himself with track position but went for the win as he overtook the battling duo of Aradhya and Perera at one go to take over the lead and eventually complete the season by winning the final race.
Behind Perera and Aradhya continued to duel for second with the latter winning the battle in a close finish as the Sri Lankan had to content himself with third with Datta finishing fourth to take third in the final drivers' standings.
Shanker did well in fifth with Ghorpade in sixth, followed by Maini and Rao as Sharma was joined by Singh and Erda in the retirement list with Singh going airborne in the long straight while in the fight with Perera for third.