Ashwin spins out of reckoning

Japan’s Kizuku Hirota’s last-gasp effort took him to the top of the podium in the MRF F1600 class on the opening day of the MMSC-FMSCI National racing championship at the Kari Motor Speedway circuit in Chettipalayam here on Saturday.

The incident-filled day witnessed quite a few crashes, red flags being waved frequently and spectators getting injured, leading to the cancellation of the final race.

Ashwin Sundar, who stole the thunder in the opening leg, qualified fifth on the grid. Though Tarun Reddy, the 15-year-old from Chennai, surprised the field by clinching the pole position in only his second race weekend, all eyes were on Ashwin.

The gritty youngster first moved past the front runners before overtaking Tarun in the 11th lap. However, the latter pressed hard to get back the lead. Ashwin, in a desperate bid to close the door on Tarun, spun his vehicle and blew away his chances.

The race was red-flagged and restarted. In the two-lap event, Kizuku, who works in a farm maintained by a group of motorsport lovers, drove brilliantly in the final lap to take the chequered flag.

Cancelled

The last race, involving Formula LGB4 and Swift, was called off after the first lap. The first corner saw two cars in a collision before the race was red-flagged.

The top two drivers made their way back to the start line immediately, but the others who followed them failed to sight the flag and rammed them from behind. The debris that flew all over left a few spectators injured. Three of the injured were rushed to hospital.

“Motorsport is dangerous and everybody must understand that. We had people all over the place to ensure a safe race. But, we need a bit of understanding and cooperation,” said Manoj Dalal, the race director.

“It is unfortunate that people on the pit wall were injured in the incident. Thankfully, there were no major injuries. The drivers were also safe as the roll cages were well built. We have cancelled the race,” he added.

In the race for the Indian junior touring cars, Mihir Dharkar finished ahead of Gokul Krishna and Charen Chandran.

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