Chennai, Oct 14 (IANS): With the titles up for grabs in all the three categories, the competitors will shift gears in the fifth and penultimate round of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship that gets underway here this weekend.
The Super Saloon class in the touring cars category would no doubt corner much of the attention given the quality of field that has as many as five drivers with a realistic chance of winning the championship.
Heading the leaderboard is Vijaykumar Rajvirdhan of Prime Racing with 138 points, just ahead of veterans TR Radha Selvarajan (RAD Racing, 123) and dad B Vijaykumar (Prime Racing, 100).
Behind the trio of front-runners are defending champion Siddharth Kishore of Performance Racing (82) who is trying to make up for a poor start to the season and former multiple National Rally champion Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan of RAD Racing (76), a late starter who missed the opening two rounds.
Both Rajvirdhan and Selvarajan have three wins apiece and two second place finishes. The battle between the two with other proven performers in the mix should make for some spicy racing.
Similarly, the Indian Junior Touring Car (IJTC) class has quite a few in contention with Diljith Shaji of LCT Sigaram Sports in the lead (158) followed by defending champion B Bala Vijay of Moto-Rev India (117) who has won four races, but dropped vital points in the second and fourth rounds.
Ranged behind the two are Shaji's team-mate Jai Prashant Venkat who has 100 points following consistent performance and young Feroze Khan, son of former champion Ayub, of HCZ Racing, who came into contention with a double in the fourth round.
The Formula LGB Swift class, the only single-seater competition in the championship, also has five drivers in the running led by Mars Racing duo of Deepak Ravikumar (118) and the seasoned Ameya Walavalkar (100).
Walavalkar has won four races, but nil points in the other four outings, but Deepak has been more consistent with two wins, two podium finishes and a fourth place.
The next three spots are occupied by TVS Girling entries Narendhran S (90), Karthik Krishna (82) and Sandeep Kumar (82).
Meanwhile, in the single-make Volkswagen Polo R Cup series, it is a neck-and-neck contest involving Rahil Noorani (235), Vishnu Prasad (228), Avdumber Hedge (225) and Oshan Kothadiya (206).
All the four have won races, with Vishnu coming on top four times, but an exclusion in the second race of the third round cost him precious points.
The programme opens with free practice sessions Friday, followed by qualifying sessions and races on the next two days.