The rich talent from the city of Bengaluru came to the fore as Sohil Shah and Ruhaan Alva dominated proceedings in the LGB4 and JK Tyre Novice Cup categories in the JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship.
Saturday was a day when there were thrills and spills in the races among cars and bikes as well as the brand-new Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup was making its debut.
The LGB Formula 4 category race was one which tested man and machine with the Safety Car being pressed into action twice making it that much harder for the drivers. In what turned out to be almost a final shoot-out, Sohil Shah, who has rich experience in his veins, turned on the heat. On Saturday, the boy used his nerves and waited for the right opportunity to step on the pedal to win the race by a difference of 0.165 seconds ahead of Arya Singh from Kolkata.
"I am happy to start the season with a win, though it was not easy. I was in the lead but once the safety cars came out, there was a lot of bunching. The net effect is the lead which you had in time and distance gets shrunk. I waited for the right moment in the final lap and won," said Sohil.
The JK Tyre presents Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup maiden race, too, turned out to be full of action. A first look at the bike is quite deceptive. Once on track, for man and machine it's a challenge to get the best out. On Saturday, the riders were a bit apprehensive. Having tested the bikes at the start of the week it was a good experience.
But to go finally flat out on the bikes weighing 180kg is quite demanding. Anish Damodara Shetty from Hubli eventually emerged winner in the 10-lap race, timing 1:18.325, ahead of Allwin Xavier from Thrissur by just 0.117 seconds.
'"It was a great challenge to win the maiden race and the last lap was electrifying," said Anish. Speaking about the close second spot, Allwin took it philosophically. "It's a new race in a new bike. There is speed and also your legs feel tired handling the weight. I am happy to come second," said Allwin.
Teen sensation Ruhaan Alva from Bengaluru, well known for his exploits since the age of seven, began the proceedings with dominance. Competing for MSport in the JK Tyre Novice Cup, Ruhaan showed poise and purpose after the first race was red flagged.
It had to be restarted. Ruhaan was fully focussed, not letting the brief stoppage affect him. On a pleasant and sunny afternoon, the young lad raced without any glitch, virtually, as he timed 14 minutes 22.061 seconds in the 10-lap race. His best lap time was 1:18.001, which was quite good considering this was the first race of the season.
"I am happy to have begun with a win. Once a race is red-flagged, it's very important to remain focussed. I was happy with my start to the championship,” said Ruhaan, who took to karting at the age of seven. He idolises legend Ayrton Senna, which speaks a lot about how much he has followed the sport of Formula One racing.
Later in the evening, there was a dramatic twist as Jaden R Pariat from Guwahati, who was trailing by two laps in the first race eventually, staged a superb comeback in the second race. Jaden won the second race much against the turn of events ahead of the favourites.
Formula LGB 4
JK Tyre Novice Cup
JK Tyre presents RE Continental GT Cup: