MRF 1600: Tharani, Kumar Share Spoils at MMRT
 February 21, 2017| 
  • Feeder Series
CHENNAI, India – Reigning MRF Formula 1600 champion Karthik Tharani made a fine return to the series last weekend at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT), claiming a hard-fought victory in the first of two races that made up the second round of the 2016/2017 championship. Tharani finished third in the reverse-grid race on Sunday behind former VW Polo R Cup National Champion Sandeep Kumar. Neither driver had taken part in the opening event of the season last month.

Tharani took control of the early stages on Saturday after starting on the pole, only to be reeled in by Anindith Reddy and Raghul Rangasamy, who had enjoyed a close battle in the early stages. Tharani finally took the checkered flag just 0.305 second clear of Reddy with Rangasamy just over one second further behind in third.

Kumar, who had set the pace during practice, finished fourth after qualifying third and then losing a position to Reddy on the opening lap.

Fourth place ensured that Kumar would start Sunday’s race on the pole, whereupon he drove flawlessly to score an emphatic victory over Rangasamy and Tharani.

Four different drivers now have won the opening four races of the new season, although Reddy, despite not yet having enjoyed a taste of the victory spoils, enjoys a comfortable championship lead because neither of the opening round winners, Ananth Shanmugam or Nayan Chatterjee, were among the field this weekend.

Round two of the MRF MMSC Fmsci Indian National Racing Championships were held concurrently with the final round of the international MRF Challenge, which concluded in thrilling fashion with Englishman Harrison Newey, son of celebrated Formula 1 design engineer Adrian Newey, winning three of the four races to snatch the title from Australian Joey Mawson. The pair ended up tied on points but the British driver was adjudged champion by virtue of his tally of seven wins to the three for erstwhile series leader (and 2016 ADAC German Formula 4 Champion) Mawson. Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, finished third in the final standings.

Another highlight of Sunday’s proceedings was the presence of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar who put in a few laps of the circuit in a twin-seater racing car much to the delight of the crowd.

About Madras Motor Sports Club:
The Madras Motor Sports Club has been the pioneer in developing and promoting motorsport in India since 1953, and we look to further improve in the years to come. It is the club’s endeavor to provide more opportunities for competitors and to this end, it has chalked out a progressive program for 2016. From the days of Sholavaram , MMSC built its own racetrack which was inaugurated in 1979 and secured its FIA Grade-2 international certification in 2015, making it the only club which owns such a facility. The club has organised the Porsche Super Cup, Formula Campos, Formula Asia, Asian touring car championships, Formula 3, Tata Prima Truck racing championship, the Asian 2-wheeler racing championships besides a host of other motorsport events over the years. The club also has active participation for its events from vehicle manufacturers who also use the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) extensively for testing their products.

Thanks to Anand Philar/AP Media Communications and Rachit Thukral/motorsport.com for additional reporting.
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