THE WEATHER GODS WERE AMUSED WITH ALL THE ACTIVITY at the Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai. That perfectly explains why we were treated to near-perfect racing weather during the day only to be cheated by sporadic rain under the cover of darkness.
Although the tarmac remained dry during the day, the run-offs were slushy with a lingering threat to overturn any ambitious driver reckless enough to run wide. Taking this into consideration, all the races for the weekend were shortened to the 2.1-km-long club loop.
For the spectators, it meant seeing cars race past more frequently. For the racers, it meant that opportunities were hard to come by and tougher to capitalise on. Thus, with its fair share of challenges and unexpected complications the race weekend was under way.
Having run the quickest laps during qualifying, Saurav Bandyopadhyay started at pole and held on to first position throughout the race. He also set the best lap at 1:06.395. Although he fought valiantly, Karminder Singh wasn’t fast enough to challenge Saurav and settled for second place. Sandeep Kumar completed the podium, finishing close behind Karminder. Drama was scarce, with minimal changes to the starting order at the end of the race; possibly because the drivers were getting used to the short loop and its overtaking hotspots.
The second race saw the reverse-grid formation coming into play for the first eight pos