20th JK Tyre FMSCI NRC Round 2- Reddy makes a comeback
Vishnu Prasad who had taken 4 of 4 wins in the previous round had qualified on pole again. But the rest of the weekend was turned out to be quite disappointing. After leading the race from the start, with a decent gap Prasad seemed sure to take his 5th consecutive win but his car's engine cut out on the last lap and he was left with a zero point finish. Meanwhile, Nayan Chatterjee seized the win with Aussie racer Ricky Capo finishing second and Anindith Reddy took the last spot on the podium in what was a hard fought battle throughout. In the second race, Prasad started from the pits while a reverse grid meant Reddy was starting fourth on the grid with Nayan sixth on the grid. While Reddy didn't take long to get into the lead with Nayan making up places too as Vikas Anand went into the dirt and lost pace, it was Prasad who had the best run of the lot despite the worst possible start. Making his way through the traffic, Vishnu managed to finish P3 while Reddy took the chequered flag with Nayan hot on his heels.Race 3 went a lot better for the C'ship leader as he started from pole again, the grid being set as per the second best qualifying times. He led the race from start to finish, defending well against Reddy's assault on the last couple of laps. Nayan taking another podium finish with P3. The final EuroJK race saw Brayan Perera on pole (reverse grid) who put up a good fight in the opening laps to keep Ricky Capo, Vikash Anand and Reddy at bay but a mistake saw him lose positions to Nayan and Prasad as well. Ricky led the race till the chequered flag, while Reddy who had been held up by Perera earlier closed the gap and was on the Aussie's tail right until the end. Vikash Anand was able to fend off Prasad's attack while Nayan had to settle in behind them. However, Anand was penalised for a jump start which gave the podium position to Prasad. Vishnu now leads the EuroJK series by just 1 point, Reddy having caught up with him after a more successful weekend with Nayan still some way behind them.On two-wheels, there was a lot more drama in both the Gixxer Cup and the RedBull Rookie Cup. In the latter, Jaden took both the wins once again but this time around, he had his work cut out for him as Lalhruaizela, from the Aizawl talent pool had improved massively since the first round. In the first race, he and Jaden were swapping for the lead throughout the 8 laps and finally came to photo finish, with just a hundredth of a second separating the two. Lalnunsanga, another Aizawl rider took P3. In the second race, Lalhruaizela was again putting the pressure on Jaden with 14-year old Varoon S. right behind them, but two offs from the Aizawl candidate saw Jaden pull away a comfortable lead. For the rest of the race, Lalhruaizela and Varoon were battling for second but the latter had to settle for P3. It was a brilliant display racing skill and potential from these youngsters. The Gixxer Cup meanwhile saw plenty of crashes if not the most exciting battles for the lead with Joseph Matthew dominating both the races. Both races did end in red flags due to crashes though. Sanjeev Mathre had a nasty tumble in Race 1 and it was his incident that brought out the red flag that time but he secured a P2 finish with Lalmawipuia in third. The second race saw Malsawmdawngliana secure P2 while Mathre took P3 when the race ended with a red flag due to two injured riders in separate incidents but on the same lap. In terms of drama over the weekend, the LGB04 category of single-seater racing had as many twists and turns in regards to the final classification as a TV soap opera. Chittesh Mandody from Avalanche Racing continued his winning streak in the first race while Rohit Khanna from Dark Don Racing took second and Rangaswamy took third. But it was the man who started on pole who offered the most excitement, Diljith, battling for the lead and drifting out of the last set of corners. It was a drift that didn't stick which cost him the race as he spun out on the penultimate lap.The second race of the category had plenty of wheel to wheel racing action, particularly between Mandody and Rangaswamy while V. Prasad drove hard but managed to avoid any contact while battling for the lead. Unfortunately, Mandody drove a bit too aggressively in his fight with Sandeep and was handed a 30-second penalty, so even though he crossed the line first, his final standing was last place in P15. That meant the win went to Sandeep, Prasad securing P2 and Rangaswamy taking another third place. Things got really nasty in the last race of the round, with a massive collision between Akshay Kapoor's stalled car on the racing line which was driven into by Brayan Perera. While the official word is awaited, but as someone who was present at the track, it was due to a miscommunication on behalf of the marshalls who were too late to signal the yellow flag. While the accident brought on the red flag, both Perera and Kapoor were unhurt, with Perera going onto race in the last race of the EuroJK category just an hour later. After the race resumed, Diljith had pulled out an impressive lead while Prasad was busy fighting off Sandeep. Mandody who had a bit of a spin on the opening lap was unable to make up enough places thanks to some hard defending from Rangaswamy. But more drama after the race ended, as both race winner Diljith and third place Sandeep, were disqualified as certain parts on their cars were found to be in violation of a homologation requirement. That meant V. Prasad, who started the second on the grid, took the win in Race 3, Rangaswamy got second and Kevin Perera moved up to the final spot on the podium. Vishnu Prasad is now tied with Chittesh Mandody in the LGB04 Championship standings, and more intense action can be expected at the next round of the JK Tyres National Racing C'ship, so stay tuned.