Chennai, Feb 5 (IANS) Ashwin Sundar of Gulf Oil Racing team took the honours by default after finishing second behind Jordan King (Team Sidvin) who was docked 20 seconds penalty for a jump start in the first race of the MRF Formula 1600 championship here Saturday.
The 16-year old King from England, starting from pole, let in the clutch a fraction of a second early and though he eventually won comfortably, the stewards penalised him 20 seconds and that elevated the 21-year old Sundar to the first place.
In third spot was the experienced Ameya Walavalkar of Team Gulf Oil Racing, who made up four places over the 15-lapper after starting from the seventh position.
“I released the clutch after the fourth red light came on and by then, the car had started rolling. So I decided to continue. Thereafter, I was determined to win by a big margin to compensate for the penalty I knew I will be receiving,” said King who was signed on by Sidvin after he had qualified on pole earlier in the day.
Sundar, who cut his racing teeth at this very circuit, he had no option but to hang on to King in second place as the UK lad with a rich karting experience and a few races in the highly competitive Formula Renault series, carried far too much speed.
“I knew he had jump started and so I settled for the second place as Jordan had opened up a three-second gap going into the first corner soon after the start,” said Sundar who started third on the grid but clocked the fast lap of the race at 1:41.453 as against King’s 1:41.533.
Further down the field, there were some impressive performances, notably by veteran Arjun Balu of Team Musli Power, who came in sixth despite an off-track excursion in Turn-3 of the very first lap.
Meanwhile, newly-crowned National champion Siddharth Kishore of Performance Racing claimed the top spot in the first race of the Super Saloons after a making contact with veteran Radha Selvaraj (RAD Racing) who spun and lost his first position on the last lap.
It was virtually a two-car race as Selvaraj and Kishore opened up a massive gap at the front of the field and looked set to finish in that order until the former ran into an oil patch going into a left-hander and spun.
“There was a lot of oil on the track, but the track marshals did not show the warning flags. I was very careful, but could not avoid the oil patch at the left-hander. I spun and corrected, but Kishore ran into me. I thought it was an avoidable contact,” said Selvaraj.
On his part, Kishore said: “We had just got past two back-markers and I saw Radha spinning one way and then coming back on to the track. By then, I couldn’t avoid making contact. It was not deliberate as we were on the last lap and I was content to finish second behind Radha who was otherwise quicker than me.”
Formula 1600 (Race 1 – 15 laps): Ashwin Sundar (Team Gulf Oil) 1 (25mins, 48.833secs); Jordan King (Team Sidvin) 2 (26:06.933 – incl 20 second penalty for jump start); Ameya Walavalkar (Excelceleon Racing) 3 (26:08.410).
Group D (165cc) Race 1 (7 laps): Sarath Kumar (Ten10 Racing) 1 (14:44.021); Arunagiri Prabhu (Moto-Rev India) 2 (14:48.467); Naveen Raj 3 (15:10.860).
Touring Cars – Super Saloons (Race 1, 10 laps): Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) 1 (20:52.980); Radha Selvaraj (RAD Racing) 2 (21:01.516); Sivaramakrishnan (Performance Racing) 3 (21:19.476).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 1, 10 laps): B Balavijay (Moto-Rev India) 1 (22:56.813); Diljith (Sigaram Automobiles) 2 (22:56.813); Feroze Khan (Haute Car Zone Racing) 3 (20:57.101)