The opening round of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship saw chaos ensue in the opening Indian Touring Car race as the three fastest qualifiers all retired from the 15 lap race leaving the door open for a surprise win for M Shivaramakrishnan at the Kari Motor Speedway.
The retirements were all the more shocking considering the fact that the two fastest cars by far retired within the first five laps with electrical and mechanical failure.
Touring car veteran Radha Selvarajan and V Rajvirdhan qualified within 0.015 seconds of each other but were almost a second faster than B Vijaykumar. C Rajaram finished well behind Shivaramakrishnan in his Swift, which struggled to keep up with the Esteems in a straight line but appeared to have an advantage in the corners.
Hede on Pole
Goa's Avdumber Hede took pole position for the Polo R Cup race from A Sandeep Kumar and Anthony George with a lap of 1:15.474 in the all-new petrol-powered Race Polo.
Hede's best time was an improvement over the performance of the outgoing diesel powered Race Polo by almost two seconds over a lap of the 2.1 km long Kari Motor Speedway.
The four fastest Polo R Cup drivers' times were good enough to place them within the top ten of the grid for the touring car category. An interesting development considering the amount of imported performance enhancing parts that go into modifying a car for the touring car category.
Excitement in Juniors
Contrary to the senior touring car category where Shivaramakrishnan won easily from Rajaram, the Indian Junior Touring Car race saw a tense battle between the top three qualifiers. Farhad Kutty won from Feroze Khan who only narrowly was able to hold off Diljith who was unable to convert his pole position to a race win.
Results (top 3)
Indian Touring Cars Race 1 (15 laps):
1) M. Shivaramakrishnan
2) C. Rajaram
3) Siddharth Kishore
Indian Junior Touring Cars Race 1 (15 laps):
1) Farhad Kutty
2) S. Feroze Khan
Volkswagen Polo R Cup qualifying
1) Avdumber Hede
2) A. Sandeep Kumar
3) Anthony George
The writer's trip has been sponsored by JK Tyre