The MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 enters its crucial phase when the third and penultimate round gets underway at the Madras International Circuit, here on Friday, January 20, with the title contenders in all categories jostling for points and positions.
While the MRF Formula 2000 category continues to headline a card of 14 races, a fresh grid in the championship is the Volkswagen Polo Cup with a 15-car field. Both these categories will have four races apiece over the weekend. The Polo Cup field includes two drivers from Bangladesh – Avik Anwar, winner of UAE Pro Car Championship, and Ishayat Hussain, in his second season in this category.
All other categories – the touring cars comprising three classes of the premier Indian Touring Cars (ITC), the Indian Junior Touring Cars (IJTC) and Super Stock; the Formula LGB 1300 and the MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) – will be double-headers, that would be run on Saturday and Sunday with Friday set aside for practice and a couple of qualifying sessions.
Salem’s Sai Sanjay (93 points) and Chirag Ghorpade (82) from Bengaluru are the front-runners in the MRF F2000 category with two wins each in five starts. Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu (75) of Race Concepts, winner of all three races so far, enjoys a comfortable 35-point advantage in the ITC category while local racers Akkineni Anand Prasad of Performance Racing (55) and team-mate Ritesh Rai (61) head the IJTC and Super Stock classes, respectively, but with challengers very much in their rearview mirrors.
The experienced Raghul Rangasamy (MSport, 80) from Mamallapuram holds a slender four-point lead over Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) in the Formula LGB 1300 category. The situation is similar in the MRF Saloon Cars class where Gururam’s Justin Singh (86) and Angad Mathroo (82) from Chandigarh, are locked in a close battle.
Under the circumstances, the weekend races are expected to dish out intense battles up and down the grids with everything to play for. Further, the competitors do not have much of a turnaround time as the fourth and final round of the championship is slated for the January 27-29 weekend, also at the MIC.
“At the outset, we welcome back Volkswagen Polo Cup which had some logistical issues, and that in the past has always seen highly competitive grid producing close contests. As the championship points table indicates, we expect thrilling races in all categories this weekend and we are happy that the competitors continue to attend in sizable numbers," said Chairman of the Event Vicky Chandhok.