Defending champion Anindith Reddy is back on top with a 14 point lead going into the final round as Vishnu Prasad suffers back to back DNFs.
Round 3 of the 2017 JK Tyre National Racing Championship kicked off in Coimbatore with little to choose between the top contenders in the Euro JK category. Vishnu Prasad (64 points) was leading the championship by a single point over defending champion Anindith Reddy after completion of two rounds. But, after the four races that were held during the third round, the tables have turned and how!
Day 1 of the two-day race event saw Reddy climb to the top of the points table, ahead of Vishnu Prasad. In the first race of the day, Reddy was on pole, followed by Prasad in second and Chatterjee in third. Moments after the lights went off, though, Prasad and Reddy had an early scuffle on lap 1 itself, owing to which Prasad was forced to retire from the race. Australian guest driver Ricky Capo took full advantage of the situation and went on to win the race. Although Reddy finished in second, he was awarded a 10-second penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag. Reddy slipped to fifth position as a result, while Akash Gowda finished second and Chatterjee was third.
The second race of the day started with reverse grid of six and this time it was Reddy who took the win comfortably with a gap in excess of 15 seconds over the next driver. That said, Reddy earned a penalty of 10 seconds yet again in race 2 for a false start. This didn’t have any effect on his position though. Akash Gowda managed to be on the podium yet again as he finished second along with Ashwin Datta in third. As for Prasad, his day went from terrible to worse as he failed to complete the second race as well. This meant Prasad earned zero points on day 1.
The next day saw Reddy return to the track with an aim to stretch his championship lead further. Reddy was starting from pole position, while his arch-rival Prasad was placed alongside on the second spot. Behind the duo was Akash Gowda and Nayan Chatterjee in third and fourth, respectively.
Reddy took full advantage of his pole position from the get-go and ran a flawless race to take the chequered flag. After failing to finish both the races on day 1, Prasad did some damage limitation as he finished the first race of day 2 in second position, only 1.413s behind the race winner. Australian guest driver, Ricky Capo, who started from fifth spot, completed the podium.
The second race was again a reverse grid, meaning Reddy was placed sixth on the grid behind Prasad. Both the drivers, however, climbed to the top two positions within a few laps into the race. But this time it was Prasad who led Reddy to the chequered flag.
Although Prasad won the final race of the third round, it’s Reddy who made the most out of the weekend. With Prasad having two DNFs in both the races on day 1, Reddy now leads the championship by 14 points going into the final round at the Buddh International Cicruit in November 2017. If Prasad wants to win the championship, he’ll have to pull off a miracle in the final round. And given Prasad’s misfortune this season, he’ll be hoping to have Lady Luck by his side in the final round.