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Exciting Opening Round of the MRF Indian National Car Racing Championship 2024

The inaugural round of the MRF Indian National Car Racing Championship (INCRC) commenced in Chennai on February 17 at the Madras International Circuit. Here’s a summary of the action over the two days.

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MRF 2000s, Photo Credits Shameem Fahath

Day 1, 17th February, Saturday

Mumbai’s Biren Pithawalla (N1 Racing) pulled off a fine win in the premium Indian Touring Cars class while Performance Racing’s Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwalla from Chennai took the honours in the Indian Junior Touring Cars segment and Chandigarh’s Angad Matharoo (Buzzing Hornet Motorsport) topped the Super Stock category.

Biren Pithawalla (N1 Racing) #90, Photo Credits Shameem Fahath

Late in the evening, Pune’s Diana Pundole won the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) race with ease in a race interrupted by a safety car period following a three-car collision.

Meanwhile, Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj and Arya Singh from Kolkata took the front row in that order for their team, DTS Racing, after a start-stop-start qualifying session interrupted by a red flag due an on-track incident.

(Visvas Vijayaraj, DTS Racing, Photo  credits Shameem Fahath)

The eight-lap race in the MRF Formula category witnessed some fine action. Pole-sitter 17-year-old Jaden Rahaman Pariat from Shillong looked poised to win in the F2000 class going into the last lap when disaster struck. “There was some issue with my car and I had to switch off and switch on eight times in the last lap. Luckily, I had a sufficient lead and managed to finish second,” said a disappointed Jaden after he virtually gifted a win to Surineni, 17, who was trailing throughout the race. Another Bengalurean, Tarun Muthaiah finished third. In contrast, 15-year-old Abhay Mohan comfortably won in the Formula 1600 class ahead of the Mumbai pair of Zahan Commissariat and Raaj Bakhru who was docked a 20-second penalty for a jump start.

(Chethan Surinenei, Formula 2000s #6, Photo Credits Shameem Fahath)

Biren, starting from pole, was off to a good start and held off Ritesh Rai (Arka Motorsport) with cousin Ananth Pithawalla (N1 Racing) running third. The position remained unchanged until the latter half of the eight-lap race when Ananth squeezed past Rai at Turn-3 with a contact between the two, and moved into P2 behind his cousin Biren. In the penultimate lap, Ananth retired when the left front tyre, that was on a slow puncture, burst, and Rai regained the second spot. By then, Biren had pulled off sufficient lead to win handily, followed by Rai and Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing), making his debut in this class. 

Day 2, 18th February

Bengaluru’s Abhay Mohan, the youngest competitor at 15 years of age, in the MRF Formula 1600 category, swept to a triple crown while another teenager, Jaden Rahman Pariat from Shillong notched a double in the MRF Formula 2000 class as the first round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship 2024 concluded at the Madras International Circuit here on Sunday.

Mumbai’s Biren Pithawalla (Team N1 Racing) crowned himself with a grand double in the Indian Touring Cars category as did Angad Matharoo (Buzzing Hornet Motorsport) from Chandigarh in the Super Stock class.

Also notching a double was Pune’s Diana Pundole, a mother of two, in the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) category besides one P3 finish, while DTS Racing dominated the Formula LGB 1300 triple-header, with a podium sweep as Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj won two races and team-mate Arya Singh, the other with Balaprasath finishing third in all three outings.

(Diana Pundole with her trophies from Round 1, Photo Credits Shameem Fahath)

Jaden, the 17-year-old from Shillong, displayed impressive pace to win both the races today in the MRF F2000 category to make up for his P2 finish yesterday when he surrendered a massive lead in the last lap due to engine issues. Bengaluru’s Chetan Surineni, the Race-1 winner yesterday, came in second in both the outings today.

Reviewing his performance this weekend, Jaden said: “I did some preparation by watching my onboard videos from my December race. I realised there was plenty in the car. It was a question of putting things together which I did this weekend. I feel there is still a lot I can extract from this car. Of course, my stint in British Formula 4 helped, but the F2000 is far quicker and I felt very comfortable this weekend.”

(Jaden Rahman Pariat, Formula 2000s #5, Photo Credits Shameem Fahath)

Abhay Mohan, as in the first race yesterday, was in a league of his own in both the outings today to complete a triple crown and underline his talent and potential. “My only target for this round was to be on top, which I did. The car too was pretty good and so were the MRF tyres. My preparation was to get fit and learn from my Formula LGB 1300 outing last season. Yes, I feel good to have won all three races this weekend,” said Abhay.

(Abhay Mohan winning all 3 races in Round 1, Photo by Shameem Fahath)

Biren, having won a close Race-1 on Saturday, started P4 on the reverse grid in today’s 10-lap Race-2, but in the very first lap, seized the lead, hotly pursued by Ritesh Rai (Arka Motorsport) and, cousin and team-mate Ananth Pithawalla.

The trio quickly distanced themselves from the pack before both Rai and Ananth packed up with punctures. Rai rejoined after a visit to the pit, but it was too late. Ananth suffered yet another tyre-burst to finish the weekend without points. Meanwhile, Biren was in cruise mode and comfortably won the race ahead of pole-sitter Pratik Sonawane (Buzzing Hornet Motorsport) and Deepak Ravikumar (Team Performance Racing).

Down the combined grid, Srinivas Teja (Team Performance Racing) edged out Race-1 winner and team-mate Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class, while Matharoo fought his way to his second win of the weekend with a late burst in the Super Stock category.

The results (Provisional):

Day 1:
MRF Formula 2000 

Race-1: 1. Chetan Surineni (Bengaluru) (12:49.401); 2. Jaden Rahman Pariat (Shillong) (13:20.579); 3. Tarun Muthaiah (Bengaluru) (13:58.255).

MRF Formula 1600

Race-1: 1. Abhay Mohan (Bengaluru) (13:49.827); 2. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai) (14:00.386); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (14:23.370).

Indian Touring Cars

Race-1: 1. Biren Pithawala (Mumbai, Team N1) (15:21.359); 2. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Arka Motorsports) (15:22.782); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:34.211).

Indian Junior Touring Cars

Race-1: 1. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:35.231); 2. Srinivas Teja (Chennai, Performance Racing) (15:41.732); 3. Nikunj Vagh (Mumbai, Team N1 Racing) (15:53.915).

Super Stock

Race-1: 1. Angad Matharoo (Chandigarh, Buzzing Hornet Motorsports) (16:48.478); 2. Balaprasath (Coimbatore, DTS Racing) (16:52.781); 3. Anirudha Arvind (Chennai, Redline Racing India) (16:54.402).

MRF Saloons Toyota Etios

Race-1: 1. Diana Pundole (Pune) (18:10.588); 2. Anirudha Arvind (Chennai) (18:15.446); 3. Jai Prashanth (Coimbatore) (18:15.850).

Day 2:

MRF Formula 2000
Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Jaden Rahman Pariat (Shillong) (15mins, 44.717secs); 2. Chetan Surineni (Bengaluru) (16:02.706). Tarun Muthaiah (Bengaluru) who finished third was disqualified for a black flag violation. Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Jaden Rahman Pariat (12:35.788); 2. Chetan Surineni (12:50.154); 3. Tarun Muthaiah (13:31.154).

MRF Formula 1600 

Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Abhay Mohan (Bengaluru) (17:14.365); 2. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai) (17:26.618); 3. Monith Kumaran (Chennai) (15:47.911+1 lap). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Abhay Mohan (13:51.711); 2. Zahan Commissariat (14:00.143); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (14:03.179).

Indian Touring Cars 

Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Biren Pithawala (Mumbai, Team N1 Racing) (19:14.983); 2. Pratik Sonawane (Pune, Buzzing Hornet Motorsport) (19:35.983); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:36.365).

Indian Junior Touring Cars 

Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Srinivas Teja ((Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:43.845); 2. Hatim Shabbir Jamnagarwala (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:44.608); 3. Yug Italiya (Mumbai, Team N1 Racing) (19:54.746).

Super Stock 

(Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Angad Matharoo (Chandigarh, Buzzing Hornet MS) (21:03.892); 2. Manan Patel (Mumbai, Redline Racing) (21:04.737); 3. Anirudha Arvind  (Chennai, Redline Racing India) (21:13.128).

MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) 

Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Anirudha Arvind (Chennai, Redline Racing) (20:47.868); 2. Jai Prashanth Venkat (Coimbatore, Redline Racing) (20:54.145); 3. Diana Pundole (Pune, Redline Racing) (20:54.735). 

Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Diana Pundole (16:31.795); 2. Anirudha Arvind (16:33.562); 3. Kesara Godage (Sri Lanka, Redline Racing) (16:43.645);

Formula LGB 1300 

Race-1 (8 laps): 1. Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore, DTS Racing) (14:57.600); 2. Arya Singh (Kolkata, DTS Racing) (15:00.136); 3. Balaprasath (Coimbatore, DTS Racing) (15:14.379). 

Race-2 (8 laps): 1. Arya Singh (15:07.040); 2. Viswas Vijayaraj (15:11.098); 3. Balaprasath (15:15.423). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Viswas Vijayaraj (14:56.286); 2. Arya Singh (15:01.417); 3. Balaprasath (15:06.693).

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Indian Motorsports

Indian National Car Racing Championship 2024 returns for Round 3

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Biren Pithawalla in Round 2; credits-Anand Philar

The ever-electrifying Indian National car racing championship are about to set up their tents at the Madras International circuit in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The MRF 4W National Racing championship will be held across 8 categories, with 13 races and 71 entrants. With a lot to cover and many talents to look forward to, here is DRC’s preview for the weekend.

Polo Cup debuts alongside other touring car categories

Making its debut this weekend in the INCRC is the Polo Cup. This cup will have a 10 car grid with 4 races scheduled. In the 3 of these races, the Polo cup drivers will be sharing the grid with MRF Saloon category. The drivers to keep an eye out in Polo Cup will be Aditya Patnaik. He is the 2023 National karting champion from Mumbai, with whom we have partnered with.

The other drivers to look out for include Romir Arya from mumbai. He also has had some success at national level in karting.

In MRF saloons, Pune’s  Diana Pundole will be unmissable on track. She leads the championship after winning 2 of the three races held in Round 1.

Amongst the other touring car categories are the Indian Touring Cars, Super Stock and Indian Junior Touring Cars. They will be racing in a combined grid fashion. In the ITC class, Biren Pithawalla of N1 Racing has been dominant as he won all the four races held in 2024.

In the IJTC class, Srinivas Teja has won at 3 out of a possible 4 times.

Click here to read the recap for Round 2 of the INCRC.

For the Super Stock class, however, Redline Racing’s Anirudha Aravind and Balaprasath of DTS Racing are locked in a close fight.

Single seater classes back in action

Another highlight of this weekend’s action will be pleothora of action in the single seater category. Racing this weekend will be the F2000, F1600 and the LGB1300 classes. In the F2000 and F1600 categories, Jaden Rahman Pariat (17) and Abhay Mohan (16) have absolutely dominated.

Jaden Rahman Pariat, MRF F2000; credits-Anand Philar

Jaden Rahman from Shillong has won 5 out of the six races held in the F2000 category. Meanwhile, Abhay Mohan of Bengaluru is unbeaten in 6 races held in the F1600 category.

In the LGB1300 category,  Viswas Viayaraj has had 4 wins and 2 second place finishes. His rival Balaprasath of DTS Racing closely follows him with 1 win, 2 second place finishes and 3 P3s.

Indian oil becomes official fuel partner of Indian National Car Racing Championship

Indian oil has come forward in supporting the Indian Motorsports scene. They have become official fuel partners for the championship and will provide specialy created racing fuel, STORM-X for the race cars.

Click here to read the press release by Indian oil.

Apart from Indian oil, MRF Ltd. have also extended their long standing commitment to Indian motorsports by becoming the Title contenders of the championship for another decade.

Here is the quote from Vicky Chandhok, Chairman of the event-

“Even as we welcome back the competitors for Round-3 of the National Championship, the MMSC is pleased that Indian Oil has come on board as the official fuel partner and will supply high-octane petrol, STORM-X, specifically curated for racing cars and which enhances their performance. And with MRF Ltd continuing to extend their support for the next decade as title sponsors, the championship is set up nicely for an exciting weekend and season.”

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Indian Motorsports

Arjun Kapoor named ‘New owner’ of the Speed Demons Delhi team

Actor Arjun Kapoor has just been named as the new owner of Indian Racing League and Formula 4 India’s Speed Demons Delhi squad.

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Credit: Indian Racing Festival

Speed Demons Delhi, the team participating in Indian Racing League and Formula 4 India has announced the arrival of actor Arjun Kapoor as their new team owner under a multi-year agreement.

Ever since I was a young kid I’ve always been interested in cars and motorsports, and Delhi’s love for racing is clear. The Indian Racing Festival, along with our Delhi team, is a great opportunity for young racers and fans. I believe we can discover and support talent that could represent India internationally, making motorsports more popular here.

Arjun Kapoor, owner of the Delhi team at the Indian Racing Festival, shared his excitement

With Arjun Kapoor’s presence the Speed Demons Delhi franchise in the Indian Racing Festival is poised to make a significant impact. Arjun Kapoor’s personal passion for motorsports not only aligns perfectly with our objective but also serves as a powerful catalyst to enhance it. His involvement will authentically resonate with enthusiasts, bringing a fresh wave of excitement and engagement to the sport and helping us captivate and inspire a growing community of motorsport aficionados nationwide,”

remarked Akhilesh Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of RPPL

For starters, Indian Racing League(IRL) and Formula 4 India championships are organized by ‘Racing Promotions Pvt Limited(RPPL)’ under a combined event called the ‘Indian Racing Festival’. This year, season kick starts with the Pre-Season testing on the 21st and 22nd of August, while Round 1 commences at the Madras International Circuit on the 24th of August.

The Team – Speed Demons Delhi

Speed Demons Delhi was part of the Indian Racing League since the beginning the league in 2022. They have also took part in the inaugural Formula 4 Indian Championship last year. The teams performance was very underwhelming in both their campaigns as they finished last in the teams’ championship.

However, in 2023 Bangalore Speedsters proved that a lot can change from one season to the other after they have won the Teams’ championship in 2023, a remarkable work done by the team who finished 5th in the previous year.

Speed Demons Delhi is still yet to announce their driver line-up for the 2024 season, it is expected that an announcement will be made in the due course.

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Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship returns for Round 2

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Sarthak Chavan; credits-Anand Philar

For the second round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship, we visit the famous Madras International Circuit. Every racing opportunity is a possible showcase event for these young prospects, and in Chennai, it was no different from 4-7 July. Here is DRC’s report from the weekend.

Friday : battle for the starting positions

Qualifying for the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship ensued on friday in spectacular fashion. This weekend was the first time that the Pro Stock 301-400cc bikes were using slick tires. Hence, extra practice time was given to them.

Come the end of the 15 minute long qualifying session, it was Sarthak (1:49:383) who took the honours in the Pro Stock 301-400cc class by mere 0.043 seconds over Chiranth Vishwanath (01:49.426). KY Ahamed posted a time of 01:51.032 to come in P3.

Sarthak and Chiranth were reversed on the timesheets in the Pro-Stock 165cc Open category. Chiranth Vishwanath (01:54.388) snatched P1 from Sarthak (01:54.483) by just 0.093 seconds. Multiple National champion Jagan Kumar (01:55.580) came in P3.

Chiranth Vishwanath (TVS Racing); credits – Anand Philar

In the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing India) went P1 with a time of 2:08:213. Ryhana Bee (Motul Sparks Racing)(02:09.070) followed her in P2 and Nadine Faith Balaji (Alpha Racing India, 02:09.864)) completed the top 3. Round 1 winner Rakshitha Dave could only manage P5 due to a issue with her bike.

Ann Jennifer took pole in the Girls stock 165cc category; image- Anand Philar

Abdul Basim (Rockers Racing(02:06.793)) took pole in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category. However he ended the session with a crash as he came down on the exit of the bridge complex. He walked away with just bruises, meaning he starts the race from P1 on Saturday. In P2 was Mysuru’s Tasmai Cariappa (Motul Sparks Racing(02:09.292)) followed by his teammate Lal Nunsanga from Mizoram.

Abdul Basim took pole in the Novice Stock 165 cc category; image-Anand Philar

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup

Mohsin Paramban(01:51.451) qualified in P1 in NSF 250R category, followed closely by AS James (01:51.941) and Prakash Kamat (01:52.206). Round 1 winner Rakshith Dave missed this weekend for his commitment in the Honda Talent Cup in Thailand.

TVS One Make championship

In the TVS One make championship, Senthilkumar C (01:55.616) came in P1 in Open (Apache RR 310) category from V Lokesh (01:57.299) and Raj Kumar C (01:57.762).

In the Rookie (RTR 200) class, it was the Round 1 winner, Harshith V Bogar (2:10:975) who took pole. CS Kedarnath (02:12.133) from Tirupati and Thrissur’s Saranjit Singh (02:15.265) follwed to complete the top 3.

For the Girls (Apache RTR 200) qualifying session, Sarah Khan (02:14.227) took the P1 honours from V Aisvariya (02:16.120) and aimah Ajaz Baig (02:16.437).

In the TVS Electric RTE category, Sarthak Chavan posted a 1:49:524 to go at te top. Chiranth Vishwanath (01:50.578) came in P2 while Alwin Sundar was third in 01:51.748.

Saturday – Sarthak Chavan does the double

Sarthak Chavan, the 17 year-old from Pune was the man of the moment as he won in both Pro Stock 301-400cc class and Pro Stock 165cc class. He won the former with a lead of nearly 7 seconds. For the latter, however, he had to fight.

Sarthak Chavan won in both the Pro Stock races on Saturday; credits-Anand Philar

He got on the back of his teammaes to catch double slip streaming at Turn 8 on the Last Lap, eventually finishing the race in 1st. He also won the fastest lap of the day across all categories from Indian Oil.

Chiranth Vishwanath, his nearest rival, faced some issues with his bike to finish in P7. The Podium was completed by fellow TVS riders, KY Ahamed and Deepak Ravikumar.

The Novice (Stock) 165cc class was won by Abdul Basim (Rockers Racing), while Jagathishree Kumaresan (One Racing) scored her maiden win in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category. The Novice (Stock) 301-400cc category was won by Kaushik Subbaiah Ganesan (RACR Castrol Power1 Ultimate).

Kaushik Subbaiah Ganesan (25) won in the Novice (Stock) 301-400 cc category; image-Anand Philar

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup

Mohsin Paramban won the NSF 250R race in his maiden wi of the season, followed home by Prakash Kamat and AS James in 2nd and 3rd.

TVS One-Make Championship

Senthilkumar C won again in the Open (Apache RR310) category from Manoj Yesuadian from Chennai and Jayanth P from Chennai as well.

In the Girl (Apache RTR 200) class, Saimah Ajaz Baig came home in P1 from SP Shuria of Coimbatore andd Sarah Khan of Mumbai.

For the Rookie (RTR 200) class, Harshith V Bogar completed a hatrick of wins. P2 went to CS Kedarnath and Akarsh Jangam took home P3.

Sunday – Too close for comfort

Sunday’s Pro(Stock) 165 cc race became very close towards its end. 10 time National Motorcycle Racing Championship winner Jagan Kumar and 17 year-old Sarthak Chavan crossed the finish line at the exact same time, something known as a dead heat finish. Ultimately, Jagan Kumar was given the win as he had the fastest lap of the race.

Jagan Kumar (P1,center), Sarthak Chavan (P2, Left) and Deepak Ravikumar (P3, Right); image-Anand Philar

This meant that Sarthak couldn’t replicate his Saturday heroics. He still won in the Pro (Stock) 301-400cc category. Chiranth Vishwanath lost the lead when he missed a gear on the back sweep at the last lap. This meant that Chavan narrowly swept into the lead for a close finish.

In the Girls (Stock) 165cc category, Jagathishree Kumaresan swept the weekend as she came home 1st, followed by Ryhana Bee and Ann Jennifer.

Jagathishree Kumaresan(03) won in the Girls (Stock) 165cc category; image-Anand Philar

 Abdul Basim (Rockers Racing) won in the Novice (Stock 165cc) class while Pradeep C from Bengaluru got his maiden win in the Stock 301-400cc (Novice) race.

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup

Mohsin Paramban swept the wins off the weekend as his lead in the championship now sits at a healthy 37 points.The Podium was completed by Savion Sabu and AS James come the end of the eight lap race.

TVS One-Make Championship

In the Open (Apache RR310) category, winning laurels went to Manoj Yesuadian of chennai. He was followed to the finish line by Jayanth P and Lokesh V in P2 and P3.

Rookie (Apache RTR 200) Race-2: 1. Harshit V Bogar (Bengaluru) (13:20.972); 2. CS Kedarnath (Tirupati) (13:26.089); 3. Rajivsham AS (Tirpur) (13:44.946).

TVS Electric RTE (3 laps): 1. Sarthak Chavan (Pune) (05:34.704); 2. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru) (05:35.877); 3. Alwin Sundar (Chennai) (05:42.046).

In the Rookie (Apache RTR 200) race, Harshith V Bogar came home in P1, while CS Kedarnath and Rajivsham AS came home in P2 and P3.

In the TVS Electric RTE category, Sarthak Chavan won his second consecutive race in this class. Chiranth Vishwanath came in P2 while Chennai’s Alwin Sundar completed the podium.

Click here to read the report for Round 1 of Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship.

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