Greater Noida, Sep 13 (IANS) Two-wheeler and four-wheeler racing will take place together for the first time in Indian motorsports when the MMSC-FMSCI National Championship begins at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) here Saturday.
Manufacturers like MRF, Toyota, Honda, Yamaha and TVS have joined hands for the event, which will see 16 races across eight categories.
While the championship in the premier MRF 1600 class has already been decided with Ashwin Sundar sitting pretty at the top, there is more at stake in the Indian Touring Cars (ITC) and Indian Junior Touring Cars class.
Veteran Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan, who heads the Coimbatore-based Big Foots Racing team, leads last year's winner Arjun Balu of Tiger Sports by 34 points in ITC while defending champion Feroze Khan (Rad Racing) enjoys a 34-point lead over V.J. Senthil in IJTC.
With a maximum of 50 points on offer, leaders Leelakrishnan and Feroze need just 17 apiece from this weekend's fifth and final round of the championship.
In contrast, Sundar has already sealed the championship in MRF Formula 1600 with six wins and three podiums from 10 starts for a tally of 201 points, well clear of second-placed Vikash Anand (132), who though needs to keep an eye on 15-year-old Tarun Reddy (130) running third.
Four rounds of Toyot Etios Motor Racing will also be held during the weekend.
Experienced international riders Krishnan Rajini and Sarath Kumar will be the main attractions in the two-wheeler racing in the third round of the National Motorcycle Championship.
The races are to be held only in the Open category across all classes - the Group C (165 cc) which is part of the national championship, and One-Make championships for Yamaha, Honda and TVS bikes.
The attention, of course, would be on championship leaders Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) and S. Vivek Pillai (Performance Racing), who are tied on 58 points in Group C Open class.
Ranged behind them are Sumit Lucas Toppo of Performance Racing (50 points), Rajini of Moto-Rev India (37) and teammate D. Dinesh Kumar (34) and Deepak Ravikumar of Ten10 Yamaha Racing (28).
With only two of the scheduled five rounds completed, the title race is still wide open and racing at the BIC would demand experience. It remains to be seen whether the likes of Rajini can shrug off an inconsistent start that has seen him going pointless in two of the four races thus far.
Another highlight would be the Honda CBR 250 Open class where Sarath Kumar, who has ridden in the MotoGP and other international competitions, leads with 73 points ahead of Toppo (53), Rajini (52), who has two wins to his credit, and Abhishek V. (51).
In the Yamaha series (YZ R15), Shyam Shankar (64) enjoys a nine-point lead over Mathana Kumar while M. Sudhakar (48) and P. Ananth Raj (48) are also in the hunt.
The TVS Races will see the Apache 180 in action with Ananth Raj (93) comfortably placed at the top in the championship followed by S.K. Prakash (73).
All the two-wheeler races will be decided over four laps around the spectacular 5.14 km long circuit that will be hosting the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix next month.