Pursuing a career as a commercial pilot, twenty-three-year-old Sudharshana Rao never thought he would stage such a remarkable comeback after staying away from the racetrack for more than a year.
The tall Bangalorean's instincts, however, guided him to victory in the second race of the Formula-LGB Swift category at the JK Tyre National Racing Championship (first round) at the Sriperumbudur Race Track on Sunday.
The genial Rams Racing Club driver, who has never won the overall title in his four-year career, kick-started his 2009 campaign, burning the track in 15:58.964 minutes and pushing the experienced Prithveen Rajan to second spot. For 15-year-old Vishnu Prasad, who had won the first race on Saturday by pushing Sudharshana to second spot, things went awry after the first 'bend' as an inspired Sudharshana overtook him within seconds and then the lanky youngster's car spun in the fifth round and went into the sand pit. Vishnu was lucky to resume the race but finished a poor eighth.
Sudharshana now leads the Formula-LGB Swift category with 18 points from two races, while Prithveen is second with 14. Vishnu shares the joint third place with Goutham Parekh at 11 points. The second of the six-round JK NRC will be held at Coimbatore in June.
"Coming back after a year, I wasn't sure I would do so well," said Sudharshana.
Results: Formula-LGB Swift (Second Race) 1. Sudharshana Rao 15:58..964; 2. Prtihveen Rajan 16:01.037; 3. Goutham Parekh 16:05.252.
Formula Rolon: 1. Gaurav Dalal 1:05.245; 2. Saran Vikram 15:05.664; 3. Sarosh Hataria 15:23.703.