VIKASH ANAND DOMINATES ROUND 3 OF MRF F1600 CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TWO WINS

VIKASH & KARTHIK THARANI SINGH JOINT CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS

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Chennai driver Vikash Anand stormed back into contention of the MRF F1600 Championship with two wins at the MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship at the MMRT. 2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup Champion Anindith Reddy took his first win of the series in Race 2. Reigning champion Karthik Tharani Singh salvaged valuable points after a qualifying crash put him to the back of the grid for 2 out of the 3 races. Vikash and Karthik Tharani are currently tied on 138 points, with Raghul Rangaswamy behind them on 129 points and Reddy a further 8 points behind on 121.

Vikash continued his fine form from Friday, where he topped both practice sessions, to take a comfortable pole position for Race 1 & 3. Reddy qualified in second place, with Kumar in third and Rangaswamy in fourth. The session was red-flagged when reigning champion and current championship leader Karthik Tharani crashed heavily, damaging his front left. He was forced to use the spare car for the rest of the race weekend.

In Race 1, pole-sitter Vikash had a poor start and dropped to 3rd place with Reddy and Sandeep Kumar passing him into turn 1. Kumar and Anand both continued to pile pressure on Reddy and it finally paid off when the Hyderabad based driver and Kumar both ran wide, allowing Vikash to take the lead. It was a three-way battle to the finish line but Vikash prevailed ahead of Kumar and Reddy. Raghul Rangaswamy was fourth with Arjun Narendran completing the top five. Former Nissan GT Academy driver Abhinay Bikkani finished a lonely sixth ahead of a charging Karthik Tharani, who was able to race with a spare chassis, after his qualifying crash.

In Race 2, Reddy took advantage of a slow starting Rangaswamy in the reverse grid race to jump into the lead. Reddy was in a league of his own as he pulled out fastest laps one after another. He was untroubled at the front and crossed the finish line to take his first ever win in the MRF 1600 championship. Rangaswamy finished over 9 seconds behind in 2nd place with Kumar completing the top three after he overtook Race 1 winner Vikash on Lap 5 in the last corner. Tharani finished in 4th place ahead of Biren Pithawalla and Anand. Actor/racer Jai Sampath Kumar was seventh ahead of Narendran, Chetan Korada and Bikkani.

In Race 3, Vikash made no mistake this time and went into the lead with Reddy right behind him. Kumar managed to hold off Rangaswamy and set out to catch the top 2. Vikash controlled the race at ease with no pressure from Reddy while third placed Kumar was forced to retire after 7 laps. Vikash took a comfortable lights-to-flag victory finishing 3.911s ahead of Reddy while Rangaswamy finished third. Tharani was the man on charge notching up a fourth place, having started from last, as the grid was set according to the second best times from qualifying in which he had crashed. Bikkani finished fifth after he was running in third with Tejas Ram sixth and Narendran seventh.

MRF F1600 Race 1:

1. Vikash Anand
2. Sandeep Kumar
3. Anindith Reddy
4. Raghul Rangaswamy
5. Arjun Narendran

MRF F1600 Race 2:

1. Anindith Reddy
2. Raghul Rangaswamy
3. Sandeep Kumar
4. Karthik Tharani Singh
5. Biren Pithawalla

MRF F1600 Race 3:

1. Vikash Anand
2. Anindith Reddy
3. Raghul Rangaswamy
4. Karthik Tharani Singh
5. Abhinay Bikkani

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