Close Battles Likely in JK Races

Chennai, Sep 16 (IANS): The battle for titles in the JK Tyre National Racing Championship has narrowed down to a handful of drivers who will be looking to consolidate their positions over the weekend when the fourth round of the series would be held here.

In the Formula LGB Swift class, it is a three-cornered race involving Deepak Ravikumar of Mars Racing (110), team-mate Ameya Walavalkar (75) and Karthik Krishna of TVS Girling (74). As such, the focus would be on the trio who will be jockeying for precious points.

Walavalkar had a disastrous start as he failed to finish in both the races of the opening round, but bounced back for a double in the next outing, followed by another first in the first race of the third but another non-finish halted the win-spree.

The seasoned Walavalkar, however, has Ravikumar in his sights, but would need to keep an eye on his rear-view mirrors with Krishna in good touch after leading a 1-2-3 finish for his team in the second race of third round.

Meanwhile, Radha Selvarajan of RAD Racing (111) and Vijayakumar Rajvirudhan of Prime Racing (88) will be again going head to head in the Super Saloon class that has more streaks of grey and white than black with a bunch of veterans ruling the roost.

Veteran Selevrajan, after a non-finish in the first race of the previous round, took the honours in the second run to remain atop the championship standings, but not by much as young Rajvirudhan is keen to make up for a disastrous weekend last month when he blew half-a-dozen highly tweaked engines.

A driver to be watched closely is former National rally champion Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan of RAD Racing whose original intent for participation has swiftly changed from "fun" to "deadly serious" following two second place finishes in the previous round without the benefit of a test run. Although he is way down the championship ladder after missing the opening round, he could yet upset a few calculation by again finishing in the frame.

The Indian Junior Touring Car series is virtually a two-horse affair with Diljith Shaji of LCT Sigaram Sports (122) ahead of defending champion Bala Vijay of Moto-Rev India (100). The duo will resume their battle this weekend with Bala Vijay, who has won four of the six races, looking set to narrow the leeway.

In contrast, the Volkswagen Polo R Cup series is still very open though Chennai teenager Vishnu Prasad is sitting pretty at the top with 170 points, followed by Goa's Avdumber Hede (151), Oshan Kothadiya (146) and Rahil Noorani (135). The rest of the field is bunched up close behind the front-runners.

Given the vicissitudes of motor racing, none can quite take success for granted and the onus would be on the competitors to be consistent rather than just spectacular in their performances, as has been the case with Prasad who has four wins and a podium in six races.


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