Chirag scorches the track, tops practice

Veteran Balu fastest among saloon cars

Bengaluru schoolboy Chirag Ghorpade put in a dominating performance in the MRF F1600 class while defending champion Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) from Coimbatore survived a dramatic spin and emerged the fastest among saloon cars in the second round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Car Racing Championship commenced at the MMRT here on Friday.

Chirag, only 16, did a time of 01:39.809 in the first practice session and went even quicker in the second, clocking 01:39.761.

His arch-rival, Shahan Ali Mohsin, the teenager from Agra, who leads Chirag in the championship standings following his double in the first round, matched the timing with a 01:39.937 in the morning run, but was way off the pace in the second session due to gearbox issues and was placed ninth.

Earlier, Balu topped both the practice sessions in the premier Indian Touring Cars class. He clocked a best lap of 01:51.680 in the first outing this morning and bettered it with a 01:51.308 in the afternoon despite a vicious spin that led to a brief red flag stoppage.

The qualifying sessions for all categories, followed by five races, will be run on Saturday.

In the MRF Saloon Cars category (Toyota Etios) that has a grid of 21, Ahmedabad’s Akshay Gupta posted the best lap of 02:05.257 over two practice sessions.

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