Also winning the National titles in their respective categories were Rithvik Thomas, the 26-year old from Bengaluru (Super Stock), Chennai’s Ashwin Datta (Formula LGB 1300) who had sealed the title yesterday itself, Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabakh (Ameo Class) and Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh, Ameo Class Junior).
Rangasamy, 26, thus, earned a sponsored drive from MRF Tyres in one round of the Civic Cup Racing Championship in the United Kingdom. Although he finished fifth in the last race, he picked up sufficient points to annex the title for the second year in a row while finishing a highly productive weekend when he earned as many as 138 points.
“I am thrilled at this opportunity to race abroad and thank MRF for this opportunity which came as a pleasant surprise for me. As for this weekend, I came in trailing Sohil Shah by 43 points after a poor start to the season and was determined to win as many races as possible. Friday, when I picked up 68 points, gave me a huge boost. Overall, I am happy at the way the season ended after such a sluggish start that I had in the summer,” said Rangasamy had started weekend in seventh position on the leaderboard.
With the ITC championship hanging in balance, the focus was on leader Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) who led Rayo Racing’s Mohite by four points. However, the reverse grid put paid to Balu’s aspirations as he started ninth while Mohite occupied P6. As the 10-lap race unfolded, it went topsy-turvy with septuagenarian D Vidyaprakash making two places to take the lead before he was overhauled by the faster Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) and the Ventos of Mohite and Karthik Tharani while Balu made a few spots but got stuck behind Daniel Rowe, the South African guest driver.
Eventually, Narendran, a former National champion and taking part in this round as a non-registered driver (not eligible for championship points) won by the proverbial country mile, followed by Mohite, Tharani, Daniel Rowe, the South African guest driver and Balu.
Mohite, winner of three National karting titles and the Volkswagen Ameo Cup last year, said: “It feels great to win the Touring Cars championship. It has been a great experience to race with some of the legends of Indian racing. My thanks to the Volkswagen team for the support they provided and my championship win is due to this wonderful team effort. So far, it has been a great journey for me, from karting to the Ameo Cup, but winning the Touring Cars title tops it all. Coming into this weekend, I knew it would be tough going, but the unfortunate retirement of Arjun Balu yesterday turned everything in my favour.”
Rithvik Thomas, 26, said: “Yes, obviously, winning the Super Stock championship is a great feeling, but I would have enjoyed the success more if there had been a tight fight right up to the final race. Coming here, I was hoping that it would be so, but I will take this title anyway.”
Jhabakh, the 26-year old businessman for whom racing is a hobby, had not entertained any hopes of winning the championship. “I did not have the best of starts to the season, and so decided to enjoy myself rather than worry about points. I am thrilled to win the title and my thanks to the entire Volkswagen team which is like a family to me, for the support I received from them,” said Jhabakh.
The results (Provisional, all 8 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F1600 (Race-3): 1. Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram) (13:27.614); 2. Yash Aradhya (Bengaluru) (13:32.277); 3. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (13:33.707). Race-4: 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (13:43.620); 2. Nirmal Umashankar (Chennai) (13:43.763); 3. Manav Sharma (Faridabad) (13:45.136).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports) (18:56.842); 2.Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (Rayo Racing) (19:16.864); 3. Karthik Tharani (Rayo Racing) (19:17.401).
Super Stock (Race-1, 7 laps): 1. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) (14:10.391); 2. Sudanand Daniel (Race Concepts) (14:16.329); 3. Archit Mylanda (Race Concepts) (14:44.876). Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Rithvik Thomas (20:18.368); 2. Sudanand Daniel (20:30.084); 3. R Raja Shekar (Race Concepts) (20:51.372).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-2): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (Momentum Motorsports) (15:34.910); 2. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsports) (15:37.407); 3. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) (15:40.848).
Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race-2): 1. Anmol Singh Sahil (Delhi) (15:43.297); 2.Jeeth Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (15:44.294); 3. Tasmin Peper (South Africa) (15:44.692). Race-3: 1. Tasmin Peper (South Africa) (15:30.299); 2. Jeffrey Kruger (South Africa) (15:30.612); 3. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (15:46.550).
National Championship winners:
MRF F1600: - Raghul Rangasamy (Mamallapuram).
Indian Touring Cars – Driver: Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (Kolhapur, Rayo Racing). Team: Race Concepts (Bengaluru).
Super Stock – Driver: Rithvik Thomas (Bengaluru, Race Concepts). Team: Race Concepts (Bengaluru).
Formula LGB 1300 – Driver: Ashwin Datta (Chennai, Momentum Motorsports). Team: Momentum Motorsports (Chennai).
Volkswagen Ameo Class: Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) and Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh, Junior).