Saurav Bandyopadhyay fends off Pratik Sonawane to claim his maiden season victory at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai.
In perhaps one of the most exciting races of Round 3 of the MRF National Racing Championship, Saurav Bandyopadhyay (#4) secured his first Ameo Class victory of the season. With reverse-grid in effect, the winner of Race 1, Pratik Sonawane (#7), started Race 2 from P12. This also meant Bandyopadhyay and Jeet Jhabakh (#5) started their final race for the weekend from P11 and P10, respectively. Meanwhile, Harsh Sheth (#15) started from pole.
As Sheth made a few mistakes in the opening minutes of the race, he dropped to 12th in the first lap. As a result, Avik Anwar (#17), who started the race from P2, was now in lead. In fact, Anwar did a commendable job of holding on to his lead till the final lap of the race. However, in the closing minutes of the race, Anwar succumbed to the immense pressure mounted by Sonawane and Bandyopadhyay, who had managed to climb up to second and third, respectively. After taking on Anwar, the duo indulged into some bumper-to-bumper action but ultimately, it was Bandyopadhyay who emerged on top to take the win. But, Sonawane did not really have much to complain about as he had a successful race weekend.
However, things did not go well for Jeet Jhabakh in Race 2 as he was forced to retire his Race Ameo after a collision. During the incident, his car sustained more than enough damage to be unrepairable.
Commenting on the closing race, Mr Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, 'It was a phenomenal race for us. The top drivers have shown consistent pace and have prepared for the races well. We are mid-way through the season and the battle for the championship is only expected to intensify from here. I am hoping that this extremely close battle continues up to the last race.'