Tharani relishes the MRF title

Karthik Tharani was crowned the 2015 National Racing Champion after clinching the title in the final weekend of the championship at his home circuit in Chennai.

It wasn't an easy ride for the champion as he came into the final weekend, 12 points away from runner-up Goutham Parekh.

He took the crucial win in the first race of the weekend under intense competition especially after the collision with race leader Parekh, on the final lap.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Tharani said: "It feels great to get my second consecutive championship after winning the Volkswagen Polo cup last year."

"It's been a challenging year. I had to find my feet in these cars and also had to deal with a bit of misfortune in some races," he added.

"But I always had great pace so I knew I could challenge for wins. Chennai is my home track and taking the championship here was even more special!"

Competition with Parekh

It was the season-long battle with Parekh who pushed Tharani all the way in the championship. In the end, only six points separated the winner and loser.

"The competition from Gautham [Parekh] has kept things interesting till the end. Right from the first round we have fought each other hard," Tharani said.

It was the first race on Sunday that won him the championship as only a retirement from the second race would have given Parekh the title.

"Race 1 of the final round was crucial. I had to beat him. I started on pole, but he got off to a good start and took the lead early on," the champion started describing the moments from the race.

"I had him in my sights and applied pressure and made the move in the final lap.

"The move was very much on the limit, but Gautham [Parekh] pushed me a little too wide in the fourth corner and I was on the grass and we had contact which ended his race."

The video reviews convinced the stewards that it was a racing incident and no penalty was awarded to either driver, but for Parekh it was a title lost.

Tharani enjoyed the battle with Parekh. "It is always good to race with guys who are quick and hungry, as you learn a lot," he added.

The season and future

Tharani dominated the FF1600 season with regular podium visits and four wins in the 10 races.

"The second round of the championship in Chennai will be my fondest memory. I dominated every single session that round," he said talking about the season.

"I got pole and won both races! It was a perfect weekend."

"I also enjoyed the third round in Coimbatore. It was my first experience in the wet and we also got a win," he added.

All the laurels aside, Tharani now sets his eyes on his future, hoping to compete in the MRF Challenge against the international drivers.

With his brother and our columnist, Prashanth Tharani already competing in the FIA Creventic 24H series, the younger Tharani is working on a budget to race in international sportscar series.

Read Also: Goutham Parekh's view

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About this article
Series Indian Open Wheel
Event MRF 1600: Chennai IV
Track Madras Motor Race Track
Drivers Karthik Tharani
Article type Interview