Karthik Tharani sets the track ablaze

Chennai’s Karthik Tharani stood the test well to win the first race of the premier Euro JK 18 class in the grand finale of the 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National racing championship on Saturday.

Karthik Tharani made his pole position count winning Race 1.   -  Special Arrangement

Chennai’s Karthik Tharani has had some good memories on a Volkswagen Polo at BIC a few years ago. But this time it was a bigger assignment and he stood the test well to win the first race of the premier Euro JK 18 class in the grand finale of the 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National racing championship here on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, who qualified for the pole the other day, cashed in on the advantage to open a bit of gap at the start. Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee was breathing down his neck right through and even positioned himself to go past the leader in the last lap. But Karthik withstood it all to finish on top of the podium.

In the second race, the reverse grid came in to play and, this time Karthik, who started sixth on the grid fought hard only to finish third. Nayan went home happy to seal the top berth followed by Arya Singh.

The podium finishes for Karthik came in handy at the end of the day as it helped him to the top of the table with 82 points. But it is only a point that separates him from Nayan (81) and it can be anybody’s game from here.

Championship leader Ashwin Datta, however, did not enjoy the kind of start that he wanted to. He began from P5 after a poor qualifier and failed to deliver the pace that he showed through the season, and is now in the third place with 79 points.

“It’s absolute pressure on all three of us. We’ll all be fighting hard and my only goal is to stay ahead. And, I am going to go for it tomorrow,” said Karthik.

Chennai’s other stars Vishnu Prasad (LGB4) of Msport and Joseph Mathew (Suzuki Gixxer Cup) had a mixed day but managed to hang on to their championship leads.

The results (day one)

Euro JK 2018: Race 1: 1. Karthik Tharani; 2. Nayan Chatterjee; 3. Brayan Perera. Race 2: 1. Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Arya Singh; 3. Karthik Tharani.

LGB4: Race 1: 1. Vishnu Prasad; 2. Raghul Rangasamy, 3. Sohil Shah. Race 2: 1. T.S. Diljith, 2. Rohit Khanna, 3. Sandeep Kumar.

ACRR: 1. Karthik Mateti, 2. Hansika Abeysinghe, 3. Max Stauffer.

Gixxer Cup: 1. Vidhan Dubey, 2. Anthony Lalawmpuia, 3. Clinton Cordeiro.

JK Superbikes Cup 1000cc: 1. Gurvinder Singh, 2. Dilip Rogger, 3. Deepak Ravi Kumar.

JK Superbikes Cup 600cc: 1. Vijay Singh, 2. Kulwant Singh, 3. Kamran Dubash.