'Good' Saturday says Tharani after ending the day on top
The National Racing Championship's fourth round kicked off at the Madras Motor Race Track on Saturday in Chennai with Karthik Tharani ending on top which included pole position.
The championship leader Tharani had a brilliant day at the MMRT where he got his second pole of the season.
It was not an easy task as the track temperature soared from 51C in the practice session to 63C during the qualifying session which meant the drivers had to manage the tyres well.
"It was a fantastic qualifying, a lot of learning about tyre temperature and behaviour," said Tharani to Motorsport.com.
"From the qualifying simulation that I ran during practice, I knew that the times will only start coming by the 4th or 5th lap and that is exactly when I set my fastest lap," he added.
Tharani had set the fastest time on his fifth lap while his rival Goutham Parekh was caught by the extreme temperatures which pushed him to third.
"Qualifying was not great today, I start from third which not a great place to start in Chennai. I was not happy with the handling of the car," said Parekh after qualifying.
With Parekh suffering issues, that helped Arjun Narendran to start alongside Tharani from the front row. "It was definitely an improvement over practice and I managed to pip Gautham. So, I'm happy with that," Narendran told Motorsport.com after qualifying second.
Behind the top three, Tejas Ram finished fourth and was optimistic about his chances for tomorrow as he aims for a podium finish. He hailed the 'massive improvement' from practice to qualifying.
Even Jai Sampath who qualified seventh was happy with his improvement of about one second from the morning's practice session.
The hot temperature was a worry for everyone as they learn about the tyre behaviour in such conditions.
Momentum with Tharani; on pole
'Best' start of my life in Race 1 says Parekh