Poise in the Face of Pres­sure

All classes up their game to stay in con­tention. Fi­nals are right round the cor­ner

Bike India - - SPORT - RE­PORT: JOSHUA VARGHESE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: MURALI RAMA KRISHNAN

AF­TER THREE ROUNDS, no racer across all classes in the TVS One Make Cham­pi­onship has eased his pace. Prospects for drama and en­ter­tain­ment on the track looked more promis­ing than ever when we set out to catch the fourth and penul­ti­mate round. Looked like the weather wanted to chip in to add to the ex­cite­ment that was about to en­sue. Overnight rain left the run-off ar­eas of the track wet and soggy, the mud threat­en­ing to be cruel to any racer reck­less enough to run wide. Al­though the sky was clear dur­ing the day, treat­ing us to warm tem­per­a­tures on tar­mac, of­fi­cials chose to limit all races to the 2.1-km-long short loop. Post prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing, we were in for a treat as the rac­ers headed out on their race-tuned TVS Apache RTR 200 4V ma­chines. Let’s take a look at how they fared over the week­end.

Open Class RACE ONE

The first race be­gan with the prom­ise of an in­ter­est­ing fight. How­ever, a cou­ple of laps into the race, it was ev­i­dent that podium con­tention was scant and lim­ited to a cou­ple of rac­ers. In fact, the nine-sec­ond gap be­tween third and fourth place meant that the guys up ahead could cruise to vic­tory ef­fort­lessly. Si­vane­san S (Chen­nai) was on the podium both times dur­ing the pre­vi­ous out­ing. A blis­ter­ing per­for­mance dur­ing this race made sure that he was undis­turbed in his jaunt to the fin­ish. Three sec­onds be­hind him you could see Arun Muthukr­ish­nan (Chen­nai) and Anand Ku­mar S (Chen­nai) fight­ing along ev­ery inch of the track. There was barely a hun­dredth of a sec­ond’s dif­fer­ence be­tween them when they crossed the line. Arun was the run­ner-up while Anand had to be con­tent with third in spite of a brave fight.

RACE TWO

The sec­ond race was al­most a per­fect re­play for the men on the podium from the first race. This time around, it was

very ev­i­dent that the pres­sure was greater. Race win­ner Si­vane­san had shaved off a full five sec­onds from the pre­vi­ous race. He also set the fastest time of the race at 1:14.013. Si­vane­san is cur­rently on a win­ning streak, hav­ing won three con­sec­u­tive races over the past cou­ple of rounds. Arun and Anand rode to claim sec­ond and third places re­spec­tively.

Novice Class RACE ONE

In the first race, the top three were in a class of their own. They were within a sec­ond of each other through­out the eight-lap race and a full 11 sec­onds ahead of the com­peti­tor in fourth place. Only one-thou­sandth of a sec­ond sep­a­rated Peddu Sri Har­sha (Chen­nai) and Anup Ku­mar M (Chen­nai) as they raced to the che­quered flag. The for­mer set the best lap of the race (1:14.044) and crossed the line first, leav­ing sec­ond place for Anup. Ro­mario J (Chen­nai) was only one-tenth of a sec­ond be­hind the duo when he claimed third place.

RACE TWO

In what seemed to be an ef­fort to make up for the pre­vi­ous day’s re­sult, a de­ter­mined Anup planted him­self ahead of Sri Har­sha for most of the race. He rode with sur­gi­cal pre­ci­sion and set the best lap of the race be­fore emerg­ing the win­ner, cross­ing the line less than sev­en­hun­dredths of a sec­ond ahead of Sri Har­sha. Shankar Guru A (Chen­nai) fin­ished in a lonely third place close to five sec­onds af­ter the fiery duo had crossed the fin­ish line.

Si­vane­san dom­i­nated the podium both times

Anup led the pack un­til the end for the sec­ond race

Sri Har­sha (1) on the top step

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