Gulf Oil sweep top podium spots in MRF race

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CHENNAI - Team Gulf Oil completed a 1-2 sweep in the third and concluding Formula 1600 race of the MRF Championship with Jukka Honkawori from Finland and local challenger Ashwin Sunder finishing in that order here Sunday.

The third race of the second round of the championship saw favourite Jordan King (Team Sidvin), winner of the previous two races, but starting fourth due to the reverse-grid rule, retiring in the fourth lap after putting wheels on the grass while attempting to pass Sunder.

Sunder had his chances to win the race, but team-mate Honkawori defended well after getting past early leader Karthik Shankar (Team Sidvin) who had started from pole. Shankar came under intense pressure and finally yielded ground.

The third and last round of the championship will be held in Delhi as a support race of the inaugural Indian Formula One Grand Prix in October.

We had a good race today and after I got in front, managed to keep my position though Ashwin put some pressure on me, said Honkawori, who had finished second behind King in the previous race this morning.

Sunder said he was more than happy with the 1-2 result.

Myself and Jukka had decided before the race that we will not take each other out and it was important that our team finished on top, he said.

Both the Formula races witnessed some incidents with drivers involved walking off without injuries. In the morning, Vishnu Prasad went airborne within 50 metres of the start following a contact and in the third outing, Arjun Balu (M & N Racing) had his rear wing knocked out immediately after start while Ameya Walavalkar (Exceleon Racing) got away with a spin going into Turn-2.

Meanwhile, Siddharth Kishore of Performance Racing completed a double in the Super Saloons category. The 30-year old from Chennai was elevated to first last night after winner Radha Selvaraj was penalised 30 seconds and then skipped the second race Sunday.

Under the circumstances, Kishore won comfortably ahead of Sivaramakrishnan in a contrived thrilling finish with the former deliberately slowing down to allow his team-mate to catch up before winning narrowly.

The two Superbikes races produced different winners. If Krishnan Rajini of Red Rooster Racing was in imperious form in winning the first race, but crashed in the second lap of the next run allowing Preethi Racing riders Sumit Lucas Toppo and Vivek Pillai to claim the top two podium spots.

The results:

Formula 1600 (Race 2, 15 laps): Jordan King (Team Sidvin) 1 (25mins, 14.514secs); Jukka Honkawori (Gulf Oil) 2 (25:16.091); Ashwin Sunder (Gulf Oil) 3 (25:38.763). Race 3 (15 laps): Jukka Honkawori (Gulf Oil) 1 (25:33.132); Ashwin Sunder (Gulf Oil) 2 (25:34.158); Karthik Shankar (Team Sidvin) 3 (25:41.924).

Superbikes 600cc (Race 1, 10 laps): Krishnan Rajini (Red Rooster Racing) 1 (18:00.534); Sumit Lucas Topo (Preethi Racing) 2 (18:06.029); Vivek Pillai (Preethi Racing) 3 (18:34.695). Race 2 (10 laps): Sumit Lucas Topo (Preethi Racing) 1 (18:14.362); Vivek Pillai (Preethi Racing) 2 (18:33.601); Yoshinto Konno (Japan) 3 (18:34.171.

Group D 165cc (Race 2, 7 laps): Sarath Kumar (Ten10 Racing) 1 (15:19.465); Arunagiri Prabhu (Moto-Rev India) 2 (15:19.542); D Dinesh Kumar (Moto-Rev India) 3 (15:28.689).

Touring Cars - Super Saloons (Race 2, 10 laps): Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) 1 (21:12.936); Sivaramakrishnan (Performance Racing) 2 (21:12.984); Krishna Jeet Colo (FRK Racing) 3 (21:24.287).

Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 2, 10 laps): Gokul Krishna (Moto-Rev India) 1 (22:38.530); Diljith Shaji (Singaram Automobiles) 2 (22:38.754); Feroze Khan (Haute Car Zone Racing) 3 (23:06.168).

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