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