Karthik Tharani Singh clinched the 2015 MRF FF1600 Championship at the MMRT at the penultimate round of the MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship in Chennai. Karthik Tharani Singh clinched the title in style with a win and a second place to win by 6 points. Tharani, who was trailing championship leader Goutham Parekh by 12 points going into the weekend, won the first race and finished second in the next for a tally of 193 points.
In Race 1 Parekh got past pole-sitter Tharani into the first corner and the two drivers put on a great show for the fans. Tharani tried everything possible to get past Parekh with no luck. On the final lap both drivers collided after C4 with Parekh being forced to retire. Tharani crossed the finish line in first place and took a 13 point lead going into the final race. Tejas Ram finished in 2nd place to round off a brilliant finish to the year for the rookie.
With Parekh being forced to start at the back of the grid for the final race, Tharani just needed to finish in the top 4 to clinch the title. Parekh had a great start and pulled off some great overtaking manoeuvres to win the race. Tharani played it safe and settled for second place to take a well deserved title. Arjun Narendran held of Tejas Ram to take the final podium spot.
2015 Champion Karthik was elated after winning his second championship in a row. He commented, “t feels great to get my second consecutive championship after winning the Volkswagen Polo cup last year. It’s been a challenging year. I had to find my feet in these cars and also had to deal with a bit of misfortune in some races.But I always had great pace so I knew I could challenge for wins. Chennai is my home track and taking the championship here was even more special. The competition from Gautham [Parekh] has kept things interesting till the end. Right from the first round we have fought each other hard. I would like to thank MRF and JA Motorsport for giving me a great car and support throughout the series.”
A dejected Parekh was ruing what could have been but was happy with a great season of racing. He commented, “Championship was in my hands and feels ‘really really’ bad to be losing it like this. After the incident on the last lap of the first race, the championship was over for me. Having a DNF in the last round in a championship-deciding race is really disappointing. It’s all part of the sport. I kept my calm and made my way up in the final race starting from last. I gave it my all and went on to win the race. Arjun [Narendran], Karthik [Tharani] and me had some good wheel to wheel racing all year long. We had no mishaps even in a close finish in the wet race in Coimbatore.”
The MRF FF1600 continues to be the best singles seater series in India which provides young drivers the opportunity to develop as drivers. The winner of the championship gets a free round in the F3 style Indian based MRF Challenge, which features the MRF Formula 2000 car, and is raced internationally. Last year saw 4 Indians from the MRF FF1600 graduating to the MRF Challenge, with 2014 winner Tarun Reddy also winning in the first round in Qatar.