Bengaluru Teens Shah, Rao Take Pole Positions
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Chennai, Jul 19 (PTI) Bengaluru teenagers Sohil Shah and Tijil Rao took pole positions in the MRF F1600 and Formula LGB 1300 categories, respectively, in the third round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT at Sriperumbudur near here Friday.

Pune's Pratik Sonawane qualified for the pole position in the Volkswagen Ameo Class (One-Make Championship) and Coimbatore ace Arjun Balu, driving a Race Concepts-prepared Honda VTec, put down the marker by emerging the fastest in the two practice sessions in the saloon cars category.

Sohil Shah, 18, came up with his best lap of one minute, 39.218 seconds, much quicker than his timings in the two Free Practice sessions earlier in the day.

Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsports), 16, put in a fine performance in the Formula LGB 1300 class with a hot lap of 01:53.523, nearly a second quicker than his best in the practice sessions earlier today.

With the top-five qualifiers separated by less than a second, Tijil led a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Momentum Motorsports as Ashwin Datta, Chirag Ghorpade and Deepak Ravikumar were placed second, third and fourth, respectively, ahead of Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing).

Balu, 44, who made a comeback to racing last year after a long break, scorched the track to top the timesheets in both the practice sessions as he was two seconds quicker than championship leader in the Indian Touring Cars class, Karthik Tharani, who was piloting a factory-prepared Volkswagen Vento.

Tharani had scored a double in the Coimbatore round triple-header while Balu was placed third in two races and fifth in another.

In the FIA Formula 4 South-East Asia series, Omans Shihab Al Habsi topped the practice session with a flying lap of 01:37.862 while the three Indians in the fray, Yash Aradhya, Mira Erda and Sneha Sharma were fifth, seventh and eighth fastest, respectively.

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