MRF F1600: Goutham Parekh, Yash Aradhya victorious in Race 2 and 3 at MMRT
The Race 2 in Round 3 of 2018 MRF F1600 Championship saw Arya Singh start on pole in the reverse-grid formation at Madras Motor Race Track on Sunday. He held on to his lead at the start as Goutham Parekh cleared front-row starter Nabil Hussain for second.
Parekh then challenged Singh for the lead which he made it stick at ease. Both Singh and Hussain then lost out to Sandeep Kumar as well, who started fifth on the road and found himself in second in no time. However, he couldn’t challenge Parekh for the win.
The racer from Chennai won his second race of the season comfortably with Kumar in second and Singh scoring his first podium of the season. He managed to fend off Hussain in the battle for the podium as Race 1 winner Raghul Rangasamy rounded out the Top 5.
Rangasamy initially challenged Singh and Hussain for the podium but a minor mistake on the final lap meant he fell away in the last few corners. Behind, Nirmal Uma Shanker led another three-way pack in sixth with Nayan Chatterjee and Ashwin Datta on his tail.
The Top 10 saw Keith Desouza and Yash Aradhya at the tail end with Karminder Singh in 11th followed by Chetan Korada, Rupesh Sivakumar, Bala Prasad, Vishnu Prasad and Sai Sanjay completing the 16 runners after seven laps. The race was cut down by a lap for an extra formation lap.
Race 2 winner Parekh started the final race on pole but the racer from Chennai lost out immediately to a fast-starter Aradhya who took the lead of the race starting from third, clearing both Parekh and Kumar in the process.
The racer from Bangalore then held firm on his lead despite attempts from Parekh all-through. He formed a train of cars with Kumar, Hussain, Rangasamy and Chatterjee not far behind. However, Parekh couldn't penetrate through the defences fo Aradhya.
Aradhya then eventually took his first-ever win with Parekh only 0.373s behind while Rangasamay cleared Hussain and Kumar to claim the final spot on the podium - the Top 3 separated by only 0.663s.
Kumar had to settle for fourth with Hussain in fifth ahead of Chatterjee and Datta, the latter joined the fray in the end stages of the race. Desouza was eighth being closely chased by a recovering Singh who dropped to 10th from seventh.
With Shanker also losing out to finish 12th, the final point went to Korada who held off Sivakumar in the end. Karminder was 13th followed by Sanjay and Bala with Vishnu the lone retirement from the race.
[Note: This story was also written on Sports Flashes]