National racing: Arjun Balu, Diljith steal the show

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Chennai, Nov 7 (PTI): Veteran Arjun Balu and T S Diljith stole the show on the opening day of the second round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI National Car Racing Championship here as competition resumed after a nine-month break behind closed doors and in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.

Coimbatore veteran Balu (Race Concepts) chalked up a fluent win despite teething trouble with his car in the top end Indian Touring Cars class.

Also finishing on the top were Bengaluru's Rithwik Thomas (Race Concepts) in the Super Stock class, Diljith T S from Thrissur in the MRF Saloon Car Championship (Toyota Etios).

Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsport) and Mohamed Ryan (M Sport) shared honours in the Formula LGB 1300 category that had two races on the day.

After a nine-month break, national car racing is set to resume in a bio-bubble at the MMRT circuit here this weekend with the second round of the MRF-MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship.

The strict enforcement of government mandated SOPs meant absence of spectators, guests and the media with the entry restricted to competitors with a maximum of two helpers each and officials.

A couple of spells of rains led to a few delays, but the stop-go proceedings did not affect the competitive nature of the races that produced plenty of action.

Balu swept to his third consecutive win in the championship following a double in the opening round in February.

Finishing behind Balu were two FB Motorsport team-mates, Keith D'Souza and last year's champion Dhruv Mohite.

Pole-sitter Tijil Rao led a 1-2 for Momentum Motorsport after holding off team-mate Chirag Ghorpade in a tense battle with Diljith TS (DTS Racing) completing the podium.

In the second Formula LGB 1300 race, Mohamed Ryan (M Sport) won handily from reverse grid start ahead of Karthik Krishna (Hasten Performance) and Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing).

The saloon car race grid comprised two other classes, the Super Stock, which was won by Rithwik Thomas (Race Concepts) for his third success in a row, and the MRF Saloon Car Championship (Toyota Etios), making its debut, where Diljith TS topped without much ado. PTI SS APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH