Muddappa fastest; double for Bharatraj, Rafiq

The Madras Motor Sports Club kick-started the domestic 2020 motorsport season by successfully conducting the first round of the MMSC Fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Drag Racing Championship in a secure bio-bubble environment at the MMRT circuit here on Sunday when Bengaluru’s reigning champion Hemant Muddappa (Mantra Racing) emerged the fastest rider.

Managing some 116 entries besides a host of officials, volunteers and employees, the MMSC went to great lengths to strictly implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and protocols as mandated by Government guidelines designed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In view of the restrictions, no spectator or guest was permitted entry to the venue, while each competitor was allowed only one helper or mechanic, and the races were spread over two days (Saturday and Sunday) so as to limit the size of the congregation to under 100.

While Mudappa expectedly topped the time charts, clocking a blistering 07.783 seconds for the 302-metre dash in the Super Sport 4-stroke Above 1051cc class, Chennai’s Nivetha Jessica won the title in the Girls category (Stock, up to 165cc) with Rulex Rockers Racing team’s Bharatraj and Mohammed Rafiq notching a double apiece in their respective categories.

MMSC Vice-President Vicky Chandhok said: “Following weeks of preparations and working on the SOPs as dictated by the government guidelines, it was great to go racing again after a break of seven months. Though we had to make do without a sponsor, we spared no expense to create a secure bio-bubble at the track. Of course, as per sporting regulations, we had a fully-equipped Medical team to deal with any emergency.

“As much as the sport mattered to us, we gave top priority to health of all involved in the event. The strict protocols, followed by all at the venue, involved temperature checks, frequent hand sanitization and physical distancing. We also restricted entry to only essential persons, besides competitors.”

The results:

4-Stroke Super Sport – Above 1051cc: 1. Hemant Mudappa (Mantra Racing, Bengaluru) (07.783secs); 2. Hafizulla Khan (Bengaluru) (08.374); 3. Harish Naik (Bengaluru) (08.721). 851-1050cc: 1. Mohammed Riyaz (Hyderabad) (07.922); 2. Hemant Mudappa (08.162); 3. Sugan Prasad (Bengaluru) (08.382). 361-550cc: 1. Aiyaz (Bengaluru) (12.256); 2. Anand R (Speed Up Racing, Chennai) (12.350); 3. Karthik Mateti (Telangana) (12.518). 226-360cc: 1. J Bharatraj (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (12.805); 2. Vivek Pillai (Team Alisha Abdullah, Chennai) (13.104); 3. P Yogeswaran (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (13.137).

Up to 165cc: 1. Bharatraj J (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (14.580); 2. PM Soorya (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (14.656); 3. Anand R (Speed Up Racing, Chennai) (15.039). Novice (Girls, Stock up to 165cc): 1. Nivetha Jessica (Chennai) (16.512); 2. Ann Jennifer (Chennai) (16.642); 3. Alisha Abdullah (Chennai) (16.781).

2-Stroke Super Sport 131-165cc: 1. Mohammed Rafiq (12.843); 2. Manoj Kumar S (13.228); 3. Mohammed Touheed (13.253). Up to 130cc: 1. Mohammed Rafiq (13.381); 2. R Madhan Kumar (13.584); 3. Mohammed Touheed (13.954).

A journalist with more than eight years of experience in print and online media. Covered I-League, Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi League, Motorsports, local sports, features, and Pune news. Also passionate about Travel, Auto, Food, and Aviation.