MUMBAI: For the new generation of India’s racers, its practice arena has turned into a battlefield in the lockdown era. Cooped up inside homes and missing out on valuable wheel time, racers from 14 cities took part in the country’s most popular competition: the Indian Sim Racing Championship (ISRL).

Sai Prithvi wins Indian

Chennai’s Sai Prithvi garnered the maximum points, 252 over the five rounds, with the final one held on Friday night, to emerge Season 2’s undisputed champion. Thrissur’s Abdul Fattah collected 191 while Mumbai’s Raiden Samervel managed 172 to take the third position.

Incidentally, following innumerable queries, the ISRL announced that the third season would begin on May 8, with the promise of upgrades, a more viewer-friendly format and an attractive prize pool. Registrations are already open.

In the final race on the Laguna Seca track, Chennai’s Amith Kutti grabbed pole in qualifying, a mere eight-thousandth of a second ahead of points leader, Sai Prithvi. As the lights went out, a determined Prithvi went breathing down the tail of the leader pressurising him into an error.

Kutti and Prithvi exchanged fastest laps before Kutti tragically hit a back-marker. The resulting suspension damage forced him to retire. Title challenger Abdul Fattah then crashed and pitted, losing valuable time and any hopes of winning the title. Jessie Jakhar (Thrissur) was the star of the race, climbing from seventeenth to finish fourth.

Sai Prithvi’s four victories in the five rounds were sufficient to crown him champion. He earns himself testing in a Volkswagen Motorsport race car. Abdul Fattah eventually finished eleventh to secure second in the final standings and earns himself kart training sessions with Rayo Racing. Raiden Samervel (Mumbai) gets a free race entry, courtesy IndiKarting.

Organised by 8-time national karting champion Rayomand Banajee and his IR eSports, in association with Volkswagen Motorsport India, the championship pits India’s best online racers against real world racers: held on the popular online iRacing platform, each competes in an FIA homologated Dallara Formula 3 car, with identical setups, using his or her own simulator.

Sirish Vissa, Head Motorsports at Volkswagen India, said: “We are proud to associate with IR eSports and the Indian Sim Racing Championship. This gives a different dimension to our motorsport program in India. With this association we look forward to expanding our footprint in terms of accessibility to the sport.”

The ISRL follows all the racing norms, with a proper rule book and experienced officials overseeing the conduct of the racers. Each round consists of two practice sessions totalling 90 minutes, a 10-minute qualifying and a 20-minute race. Points are awarded as per the Volkswagen India Championship, with additional points for pole position and fastest lap.