Round 3 of the 17th MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship, powered by MRF Tyres, kicks off this weekend in Chennai on July 27-28. The weekend will feature races in the MRF 1600 category, Indian Touring Cars (ITC), Indian Junior Touring Cars (IJTC), and Formula LGB4 & Formula Swift. The Toyota Etios Motor Racing (EMR) Trophy will also make their debut in the National Racing Championship this weekend.
FMSCI President Vicky Chandhok commented, “This is an exciting time for Indian motorsports as we return to Chennai for the 17th consecutive year of the National Racing Championship. As I said earlier it is great to have MRF Tyres back in the NRC after a long period. They are playing a bigger role in taking the sport further which is great for Indian motorsport. We are always open to more manufacturer involvement so the addition of the Etios Motor Racing Trophy is definitely a big benefit to the NRC. We look forward to the continued support from all our stakeholder and welcome new partners.”
Ajit Thomas, President, MMSC, was thrilled to have a global manufacturer such as Toyota commit to the National Racing Championship. He commented, “We have already had two great rounds of the Championship and Round 3 in Chennai looks to be a thriller as well. It is great to have Toyota Kirloskar Motors join the NRC for two rounds this year as this further strengthens their commitment to develop Indian motorsports. The Etios Motor Racing Trophy will have 4 races this weekend with 25 young drivers on the grid and we wish them all the best. Along with this the MRF 1600 is proving to be the perfect platform for young drivers looking at a career in single-seaters. The Saloon cars have always been a star attraction and will continue to do so this weekend along with the Formula LGB F4 & Swift.
In the MRF 1600 category, the Japanese drivers Yudai Jinkawa & Kizuki Hirota gave the Indian drivers a run for their money with convincing wins. Championship leader Ashwin Sundar will look to get back to winning ways at the MMRT in Chennai. Sudarshan Rao and Vikash Anand will look to make further inroads into Ashwin’s championship lead. Another one to watch out for will be 15 year old Tarun Reddy, who took pole position in only his second single-seater race weekend. Race 1 of the MRF 1600 will take place on Saturday with race 2 taking place on Sunday.
Mr. Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, said, “We look forward to another exciting weekend of racing at the NRC in Chennai. The MRF 1600 grid is highly competitive and having a mix of Indian and international drivers is spicing up the action. The entire team has been working hard all season to ensure all racing categories are comfortable with the tyres and extract maximum from it. We will continue to push the boundaries and ensure we have a great weekend of racing ahead of us.”
The first EMR race will be flagged off on July 27th, 2013 at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT). In all, there will be four EMR Trophy races during the third leg of the National Racing Championship to be held in Chennai on the 27th & 28th of July. The 25 EMR drivers selected last year will compete for the EMR Trophy over eight races this year.
Commenting on EMR’s participation in the NRC, Mr. N. Raja, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “It is an honor for us to be associated with National Racing Championship and we believe this will be an excellent opportunity for our line-up of drivers. EMR saw a lot of excitement amongst the youth during the driver selection & training camps which were held in various cities. We also took EMR to all our dealerships across India to give our customers a taste of Toyota’s motorsport experience and it was very well received. As we begin our season in 2013, we look forward to a lot of thrill & excitement as our drivers are all geared to take on the National Racing Championship.”
Arjun Balu cemented his championship lead in the ITC with another win and a third place in Coimbatore. V Ramnarayan moved in to second place ahead of seasoned campaigner N. Leelakrishnan, whose mechanical problems are costing him in the title race. Leelakrishnan was won 3 out of the 5 races so far with one DNF. Arjun Balu will switch from his regular Honda City and debut his Volkswagen Vento for the manufacturer’s first ever entry into the ITC category.
In the IJTC category, championship leader Feroze Khan will look to put last race weekend behind him and further increase his championship lead. Sreeram is in second place ahead of Raja Rajan and Ashish Ramaswamy. Mihir Dharkar, who missed Round 1 came back strongly in Round 2 with a win and a second place and is looking good to mount a title challenge this year.
Round 2 of the Championship witness a horrific accident in the first race of the Formula LGB4 & Swift categories but fortunately no injuries. S Narendran had a successful weekend in Coimbatore after winning both completed races in the Formula LGB F4 ahead of Jigar Muni and Sudanand DR. In the Formula Swift category Sriram S leads the championship ahead of Inesh Singh.