MRF F1600: Teenager Aradhya Scores First Win
 August 20, 2018| 
  • Feeder Series
Bengaluru's Yash Aradhya, winner of Race-3 in MRF F1600 class (Aug 19) (1200x481)
Feeder Series News

– For the second successive weekend, three drivers shared the victory spoils as the MRF F1600 Championship, part of the MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championships, made another visit to the MMRT (Madras Motor Race Track), near Chennai, on August 17-19. Raghul Rangasamy, Goutham Parekh and teenager Yash Aradhya (pictured) claimed one victory apiece, with Rangasamy, from the nearby temple town of Mamallapuram, taking a big step toward realizing his dream of earning a ticket to the Mazda Road To Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout in the United States later this year by moving to the top of the championship points table with just three races remaining.

“As I am already 25, this is my last chance to make it to the Mazda Road To Indy shootout and I am giving it everything I have,” said Rangasamy, referring to the upper age limit for participation in shootout.

Rangasamy, who began the weekend placed second in the championship, just 12 points adrift of leader Ashwin Datta, topped the timing charts on Friday to secure pole position for the opening race on Saturday, which drew an impressive field of 16 cars. His best lap of 1:29.828 was a couple of tenths better than Sandeep Kumar, with Kolkata’s Arya Singh third fastest on 1:40.268. Datta, who had started the season with a triple in the first round, had a poor qualifying session and could manage only eighth on the grid after clocking 1:41.010.

Rangasamy converted his pole position into a commanding victory to take the championship lead, although at one point he allowed his closest pursuer, Sandeep Kumar, to come within striking distance before edging away again in the closing stages.

“I started thinking what I would say at the post-race interview and stuff like that,” admitted Rangasamy. “As my thoughts wandered, so did the pace. Suddenly, I saw Sandeep Kumar (who finished second) catching up and it woke me up! I am absolutely exhausted! I am not a gym person like others drivers. I reacted a bit late to the lights at the start, but otherwise, it was a good launch and I quickly built up a big lead.”

Nirma Uma Shankar finished third after Singh dropped down the order late in the race. Singh eventually finishing sixth behind Nabil Hussain. Parekh made some major progress at his home track during the second half of the eight-lap event, gaining seven places to secure fourth.

With the top six finishers inverted to form the starting order for Race Two on Sunday morning, Parekh quickly dispatched front row starter Hussain and polesitter Singh before going on to win by over three seconds from Kumar. Singh and Hussain finished close together in third and fourth, with Rangasamy also not far behind in fifth.

The schoolboy from Bengaluru, Yash Aradhya, marked his first season in the MRF F1600 class with a maiden win on Sunday afternoon. Aradhya, who celebrated his 17th birthday last Friday, started Race Three from third position on the grid but found a way past pole-sitter Parekh and Kumar within the first two laps before defending his position to score a fine win.

Rangasamy, who finished third, now holds a narrow points advantage, over Parekh, 134-129, with Datta on 110, just one point clear of Kumar. The championship will be decided at MMRT next month.

Provisional Results:

: 1. Raghul Rangasamy, 1:39.82; 2. Sandeep Kumar, 1:40.028; 3. Arya Singh, 1:40.268; etc.

Race One (8 laps): 1. Rangasamy, 13:36.906; 2. Kumar, 13:39.058; 3. Nirmal Uma Shanker, 13:43.654; etc.

Race Two (7 laps): 1. Goutham Parekh, 11:55.958; 2. Kumar, 11:59.036; 3. Singh, 11:59.807; etc.

Race Three (8 laps): 1. Yash Aradhya, 13:38.672; 2. Parekh, 13:39.045; 3. Rangasamy, 13:39.335; etc.
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