August 5, 2017
Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee and Anindith Reddy of JHyderabad scorched the track on Day 1 of the 20th JK Tyre National Racing Championship here today, winning one race each in the highly competitive and exciting Euro JK 2017 category.
Kolhapur’s Chittesh Mandody (Avalanche Racing), Joseph Matthew and Sri Lanka’s Jaden Gunawardena were the other victors of the day, comfortably winning the LGB Formula 4, Suzuki Gixxer Cup and Red Bull Rookie Cup races, respectively.
The Euro JK turned out to be a heart-stopper with the top five drivers locked in an intense battle, as Round 1 leader Vishnu Prasad began at pole and seemed to be in his elements once again, building a comfortable lead up front. He lapped the race’s fastest lap (1:01.218) and looked set for another win.
But in Lap 6, Sandeep Kumar crashed and the safety car came out, leading to a dramatic turn of events. It didn’t bother Vishnu as he held on to his lead; but Australia’s Ricky Capo found his opportunity behind him and as Nayan and Anindith tussled for supremacy, he jumped into the second position. He held onto it for his first podium finish in India.
It wasn’t meant to be Vishnu’s day though. In the penultimate lap, his engine suddenly stalled, and he could only watch helplessly as the field fled past him.
Nayan eventually took home his first victory while Anindith had to be content with the last place on the podium.
Race 2 was equally gripping, with the reverse grid coming into play. Nayan started at sixth and Anindith at fourth while Vishnu had to begin from the pit lane: last.
In the Gixxer Cup, Mathew of Chennai continued his winning run, recording his third victory in the championship, as he finished a full 5 seconds ahead of the 22-member field to underline his dominance. Sanjeev Mhatre (Mumbai) and Lalmawipui (Aizawl) took the second and third positions.
Similarly, Mandody of Kolhapur too proved his mettle, easily winning the LGB Formula 4 to widen his lead. Delhi’s Rohit Khanna (Dark Don Racing) came in behind him while Raghul Rangasamy of Chennai (MSport) took the third place.
The Aizawl boys Lalhruaizela and Lalnunsanga rode like champions but just couldn’t shake the Sri Lankan champ Jaden Gunawardena in Red Bull Rookie cup.