Having bounced back in Round 3 of the Indian National Racing Championship for the 2021 season at Madras Motor Race Track, Shahan trimmed the points gap to Chirag Ghorpade to 13 points heading into the final round this past weekend.
The main aim for Shahan was to keep Chirag behind and score as much points on offer to not only bridge the gap but also overcome it to win the championship. And he did it to secure the 2021 Indian National Car Racing Championship title by winning the MRF F1600 category.
Shahan started the weekend well to top the standings in the two practice sessions. But a spin in qualifying early on left him only second on the grid for Race 1 with Chirag starting fourth. The first race saw Shahan hustle leader Surya Varathanfrom start to finish for the win.
Thinking about the points, Shahan settled for second finishing only three tenths behind the winner with Chirag in third. For Race 2, Shahan started seventh behind Chirag and had to clear him to further lower the gap. He did so by passing him on Lap 7 while also clearing other cars.
He eventually finished second on the road which put him in the lead of the championship with two points advantage over Chirag after he only managed seventh. It all came down to the final event where Shahan started second and had to finish ahead of Chirag to clinch the title.
It was a chaotic start as Shahan went for a move on Surya in the lead. They made contact which allowed Rishon Rajeev and Chirag to sneak past him as the safety car was deployed. While Surya retired out, Shahan fortunately managed to continue on behind Rishon and Chirag.
It was crucial for him to pass them to take the title and on Lap 5, the opportunity was presented. He passed Chirag around the outside at Anand’s corner which sealed their fate as a second-place finish for Shahan helped him win the 2021 MRF F1600 Championship by five points.
With four wins against his name in the 2021 season, Shahan scored 194 points in all to Chirag’s 189 to secure his first-ever single-seater championship win at the National level in India after winning the Karting championships both at National and Asian levels.
“That was one heck of a final weekend! I am extremely happy to be the 2021 Indian National Car Champion in the premium category MRF Formula 1600,” says Shahan. “I have multiple National titles in Karting as well as Asian Karting title but this is special as it’s my first-ever Formula Car Championship win. It was an intense season of racing with very close battles and the fight went to the last race of the last round and I am happy that I came out as a winner.
It couldn’t be possible without the support of my family, my coaches, my mechanics and everyone who helped me during the course of the year and my career. I would also congratulate Chirag on finishing second, and Rishon for finishing third they gave me a stiff competition all-through the year and I thoroughly enjoyed racing against them and others on the MRF F1600 grid.”