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Sweet double for Ayub Khan

Sports Reporter

SPECTACULAR STUFF: Chennai's Ayub Khan came up with a stellar effort on Sunday. — Photo: K. Ananthan

Coimbatore: Ayub Khan's spectacular show in the Esteem class and Sarosh Hataria's daredevilry in the Formula LGB category were the highlights of the second leg of the JK Tyre national racing championship at the Kari Motor Speedway in Chettipalayam, near Coimbatore, on Sunday.

Ayub Khan used his rich experience to bag a sweet double in the Esteem class race. Starting from pole, the stocky driver from Chennai, unmindful of the chaos and confusion behind him, pulled away with ease from the rest of the field to score a facile victory in the first race.

The second race was a treat to watch. For most part, the master driver was in a class of his own. He enjoyed close to 10 seconds lead. But, even as he crossed the start-finish line to begin his 12th lap, the happy-go lucky driver noticed his fuel gauge dropping. K.E. Kumar made good use of the situation and attempted to draft past Ayub only to find him closing the door on the final straight to clinch his second straight pair of the championship.

Full complement

For the first time, the Formula LGB grid had a full complement of 17 cars. The opening race saw a few cars retire, but Ameya Walvalkar went on without any hiccups only to find Sarosh breathing down his neck for the top spot. Meanwhile, Rayomand Banajee, who started poorly, clawed back into contention. From then on, both Ameya and Rayomand traded places slipstreaming each other on the long main straight. It was eventually Ameya's heroics that saw him take the chequered flag.

The second race was one better, in terms of thrills. Pole sitter Sarosh drove brilliantly to bracket the top post. The lead exchanged hands between Ameya and Sarosh, but the latter had the advantage on the last lap. A desperate move from the corner saw Ameya clipping his car's nose with Sarosh's rear. And, that proved costly. Ameya slipped to fourth and thus allowed back-runners Afsar Riyaz and Aditya Akkineni to take the second and third places respectively.

Ghosh penalised

The first race of the Formula Maruti class saw pole leader Amitrajit of Team Valvoline accelerating away from the pack before colliding with Rayomand in the very first lap, who was forced to retire. After the race, the stewards held an enquiry into the incident and ruled that Ghosh be given a 30-second penalty, which pushed him to the fourth place. Gaurav Dalal, who initially finished second, bagged the first position.

The results: Esteem: Race 1: 1. Ayub Khan 20:17:163, 2. Saran Vikram, 3. B. Vijay Kumar. Race 2: 1. Ayub Khan 21:00:004, 2. K.E. Kumar, 3. Ashwin Sunder.

Formula Maruti: Race 1: 1. Gaurav Dalal 20:03:928, 2. Amanpreet Ahluwalia, 3. Sunny Sidhu. Race 2: 1. Amitrajit Ghosh 20:32:088, 2. Gaurav Dalal, 3. Rayomand Banajee.

Formula LGB: Race 1: 1. Ameya Walavalkar 18:40:037, 2. Rayomand Banajee, 3. B. Vijay Kumar. Race 2: 1. Sarosh Hataria 18:45:824, 2. Afsar Riyaz, 3. Aditya Akkineni.

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