COIMBATORE: Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar and Amir Sayed from Kottayam emerged champions on Sunday in the Formula LGB 4 and Novice Cup category respectively in the 23rd JK Tyre- FMSCI National Racing Championship.
At the Kari Motor Speedway, the final day provided plenty of sparks as the Formula LGB 4 championship went down to the wire till the last lap of the last race. It was heartbreak for Ashwin Datta, who led overnight in the Formula LGB 4 category with 63 points.
Call it sheer bad luck or the way racing plays out as a sport, Ashwin was distraught in the morning as he faced brake failure in the first race. It was a challenge for him to keep his cool in the last race of the championship (12th) in the afternoon as he started from the back row of the grid.
The formation laps itself had to be gone through repeatedly and after three times the race had to be restarted; Ashwin did the damage to his chances. At the very first corner, his car came into dangerous contact with a few cars and it was all over for him.
As he walked back to the pit lane and then the balcony for viewing the race as any other spectator, he looked gutted. However, he cheered on his Dark Don teammates, where seasoned Sandeep Kumar raced tactically to emerge champion.
Sandeep, 28, has rich experience. He has been part of Indian motorsport for almost 15 years and seen it all from karting to racing.
After seeing mayhem ahead of him in the last race, he decided the best plan was not to do anything risky, especially after all the incidents. The repeated appearance of the safety car can play on the mind of the drivers. Yet, Sandeep’s rich experience and ice cool nerves stood him in good stead as he finished fifth in the last race. He totalled 66 points to seal the Formula LGB 4 championship. Ashwin finished with 63 points. These points tally are as per provisional standings. Vishnu Prasad, 54 points was third.
Sandeep had little to say after the race. Or, maybe, he could not believe the way luck also played a role today. “I do not want to say anything really as the final standings have to be tabulated,” said Sandeep.
As anticipated, teen sensation Amir Sayed showed that is the young man in form and a prospect for the future as he crowned himself in glory in the Novice Cup category. “It was fun driving this whole season,” said Amir after winning the last race. He totalled a whopping 120 points in the championship, which was the maximum possible.
He was extremely happy to be crowned champion but kept his emotions in check. There was no undue celebration and even on the podium, he was well in control. “It has been a very thrilling and satisfying championship for me,” said Amir.
Amir, who had started from Karting, is a debutant in the racing championship. He talks about the transition, “I spent a lot of time with Vishnu Prasad on the tracks in Chennai and Coimbatore. He has mentored and guided me and that is why I could do well in this championship,” added Amir. The obvious plan for the next seasons for Amir would be to shift gears and move to the higher category.
Provisional Race Results: Total Timing
Formula LGB 4: Race 4 (14 laps): Mohamed Ryan – MSport – 20:21.929; Vishnu Prasad – MSport – 20:23.545; Arya Singh- Dark Don Racing – 20:25.170.
Race 5 (15 laps): Diljith TS –Dark Don Racing- 23:58.426; Sandeep Kumar A – Dark Don Racing – 23:58.890; Sarosh Hataria – Ahura Racing – 23:59.793.
Race 6: (15 laps): Vishnu Prasad- MSport –21:01.907; Mohamed Ryan – Msport –21:07.490; Sarish Hatarai – Ahura Racing – 21:14.292.
JK Tyre Novice Cup: Race 5 (10 laps): Amir Sayed- MSport – 14:17.157; Chetan Surineni – Momentum Motorsports – 14:31.672; Aman Chaudhary- DTS Racing – 14:32.509.
Race 6 (10 laps): Amir Sayed- MSport – 16:34.084; Chetan Surineni- Momentum Motorsports- 16:56.452; Neym Rizvi- MSport- 17:01.933.
Overall Championship Standings:
LGB Formula 4: Champion: Sandeep Kumar – Dark Don Racing –66 points; First Runner-Up – Ashwin Datta – Dark Don Racing –63 points; Second Runner-Up – Vishnu Prasad- MSport –54 points
Novice Cup: Champion: Amir Sayed – Msport – 120 points; First Runner-Up– Dhruvin Gajjar – DTS Racing –49 points; Second Runner-Up – Aman Chaudhary – DTS Racing –46 points.