Chennai, Aug 24: Crafty veteran and former National Rally champion Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan led a 1-2-3 finish for his Big Foots Racing Coimbatore team in the Indian Touring Cars category, and more importantly, moved to the top of the championship standings on the opening day of the fourth round of the MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship here Saturday.
Leelakrishnan, starting from pole position, led team-mates V. Ramnarayan and Arjun Narendran to the finish line to pick up 25 points to overtake Arjun Balu (Tiger Sports) in the drivers’ standings.
Defending champion Balu, still to come to terms with the Volkswagen Vento introduced this season, managed only a fifth place finish that earned him 10 points. It meant that Leelakrishnan took his tally to 135, for a six-point lead over Balu with two more races scheduled for Sunday.
Meanwhile, S. Narendran (Wallace Sports) continued his unbeaten streak in the LGB Formula 4 category as he won both the races Saturday and looks set to repeat the feat Sunday when the third and final outing is slated.
In the Formula Swift category, championship leader Deepak Paul Chinappa from Bangalore and Suhail Sabharwal won a race apiece. Chinappa also had a second-place finish behind Sabharwal to come away with 43 points that boosted his championship tally to 122.
Also consolidating his championship position was Feroze Khan who recorded his sixth win in eight starts this season in the Indian Junior Touring Cars category and looked set to repeat the feat on the morrow when the second race of the series will be run.
Earlier in the day, Japanese driver Yudai Jinkawa put in a brilliant lap to qualify on pole position for the MRF 1600 race, ahead of 15-year old Tarun Reddy and championship leader Ashwin Sundar.
Vikash Anand and Advait Deodhar will start in fourth and fifth positions, respectively. Both races in the MRF 1600 category will be held Sunday.
LGB Formula 4 (Race 1): S Narendran (Wallace Sports) 1; Jigar Muni (Kari Sports) 2; Sudanand Rajan (Kari Sports) 3. Race 2: Narendran 1; C Rajaram (Kari Sports) 2; Emmanuel Jebaraj 3.
LGB Formula Swift (Race 1): Deepak Paul Chinappa (MM Racing) 1; Suhail Sabharwal (Anish Racing) 2; Prashanth K (Wallace Sports) 3. Race 2: Sabharwal 1; Chinappa 2; Raghul Ramaswamy (Anish Racing) 3.
Indian Junior Touring Cars: Feroze Khan 1; VJ Senthil (Big Foots Racing) 2; Charen Chandran (Mega Racing) 3.
Indian Touring Cars: Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan (Big Foots Racing) 1; V Ramnarayan (Big Foots Racing) 2; Arjun Narendran (Big Foots Racing) 3.