Monday, Dec 22, 2003
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Racing : Motor
By Our Sports Reporter
CROWNING GLORY: Gaurav Dalal (left) and J.D. Madan, the overall winners of the Maruti FISMME and Esteem sections respectively.
Their victories lost some sheen when the strong contenders for the two championships, Sarosh Hataria and Ayub Khan respectively, were plagued by mechanical failures in the fourth and final leg at the MMSC track, Irungattukottai, near here, on Sunday.
Going into the final two races, Dalal was trailing defending champion Hataria by five points and Madan was ahead of Ayub by a solitary point. No wonder, this was billed as `battles within battles'.
Dalal held pole in the FISSME with Hataria fifth on the 19-car grid. The former seemed to have the faster car in the 10-lap first race, though it was his teammate, Gaurav Gill who was the first to take the chequered flag. Dalal finished second (eight points) and Hataria fifth (four points).
This reduced the leeway between the two to just one point at the start of the 15-lap final race. But the drive shaft of Hataria's car broke even as he was driving to the starter's line. The subsequent delay saw him start last. Dalal won this race while Hataria finished 13th.
"It feels good to win my maiden title," said Dalal. Hataria said the story would have been different had he been involved in the final face-off.
J.D. Madan clinched both the Esteem races easily. But the pressure was off him the moment Ayub's gearbox failed at the very start of the 10-lap first race.
"It feels good to triumph at the end of the season. I could have taken it easy in the 15-lap second race. But I needed to know that I can take a challenge," said Madan after claiming his maiden National title.
R.P. Singhania, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, JK Industries, inaugurated the championship. There was a parade of vintage cars and two races in the Formula LGB class, which were, however, not part of the championship. Japanese lady driver Keiho Ihara, who finished third in the last Formula BMW Asia season, drove impressively in both the LGB races.
At the prize distribution function in the evening, J.D. Madan was presented a Maruti Esteem and Gaurav Dalal, a Maruti Alto. Both prizes were sponsored by Maruti Suzuki.
The results (final leg, circuit length 2.1-km):
FISSME I race (10 laps): 1. Gaurav Gill 12:19.053; 2. Gaurav Dalal 12:19.819; 3. Jigar Muni 12:33.268; Fastest lap: Gill (1:12.982); Novice award: Varun Sharma 12:43.000; Best tuner: Venkat; Race II (15 laps): 1. Gaurav Dalal 18:13.851; 2. Gaurav Gill 18:36.473; 3. Amanpreet Aluwalia 18:50.746; Fastest lap: Dalal (1:13.047); Novice award: Sameer Ebrahim 18:57.102; Best tuner: Venkat.
Esteem I race (10 laps): 1. J.D. Madan 12:55.668; 2. Radha Selvaraj 13:01.502; 3. Vikram Murthy 13:04.005; Fastest lap: J.D. Madan 1:16.690; Novice award: Vetrivel 13:22.925; Best tuner: Karthik; Race II (15 laps): 1. J.D. Madan 19:21.885; 2. Ayub Khan 19:26.489; 3. Radha
Selvaraj 19:34.886; Fastest lap: J.D. Madan 1:16. 490; Novice award: N. Shanmugam 20:20.075; Best tuner: Roopesh.
Formula LGB (not part of the championship) Race I (10 laps): 1. Raj Virdan 11:46.205; 2. Keiho Ihara 11:48.420; 3. Rayomand Banajee 11:49.778; Race II: Keiho Ihara 11:54.991; 2. Gurunath Meiyappan 11:58.553; 3. Raj Virdhan 11:69.381.
FISSME: 1. Gaurav Dalal 63 points; 2. Sarosh Hataria 53; 3. Gaurav Gill 42; 4. K. Hari 36; 5. Jigar Muni 26.
Esteem: 1. J.D. Madan 71 points; 2. Ayub Khan 56; 3. Radha Selvaraj 45; 4. Sivaramakrishnan 32; 5. Vikram Murthy 29.
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