Youngsters shine on opening day

On a rain-cooled Saturday afternoon at the Irrungatukottai track, drivers had a tough time getting used to conditions during qualifying, which were drastically different from what was painted during Friday's practice sessions. However, once the five red lights went off during Race I, the drivers found their groove, even if it did lead to some commotion when the formation grid dispersed.

In the LGB Swift section, Mars Racing's Ameya Walvalkar (20:02.952), who lies third overall with 75 points, was on pole at the end of qualifying and was followed by Karthik Krishna in second. But by turn one (sharp right-hander) of the 3.7km 10-lap race, it all changed. 

Walvalkar opened up a substantial gap by pushing his car hard. Krishna, on the other hand, chose to take the inside line and was overtaken by Narendran S (20:16.798) on the exit.

Krishna, who seemed to have some difficulties getting his car to max on stretches, approached turn one in lap two -- once again from the inside -- and this time Sandeep Kumar (20:17.092), who started off in fourth, snuck up from behind to move up third.

By lap three, the race leaders settled down, and despite some mud and oil spill on the track, carried through to the chequered flag unchallenged.

In the Indian Touring category, Prime Racing’s V Rajvirdhan (20:37.716) led from start to finish to chalk up 25 points. N Leelakrishnan (20:40.859) and Siddharth Kishore (20:53.665) finished second and third respectively.

Results (Race I): Formula LGB Swift: Ameya Walavalkar (Mars Racing, 20:02.952) 1; Narendran S (TVS Girling Racing, 20:16.768) 2; Sandeep Kumar (TVS Girling, 20:17.092).
Indian Touring (Super Saloons): V Rajvirdhan (Prime Racing, 20:37.716) 1; N Leelakrishnan (Rad Racing, 20:40.859) 2; Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing, 20:53.665) 3.

Indian Junior Touring: Feroze Khan (HCZ Racing, 21:57.952) 1; Diljith TS (LCT Sigaram Sports, 22:00.005) 2; B Balavijay (Moto Rev India, 22:23.069) 3.

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