In the previous round, Indian Rally ace Gaurav Gill drove a Leelakrishnan-prepared car and blew away all opposition in winning both the races. It was a one-off participation by Gill who is otherwise occupied this weekend, driving in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in Malaysia for Team MRF.
Gill's absence would mean a straight fight between Balu and Leelakrishnan who are separated by just nine points. Balu, barring a non-finish in the first race of the previous round, has performed consistently by winning two races and finishing on podium in the other four for a tally of 119 points.
Leelakrishnan enjoyed a purple patch when he won three races on the trot, but a non-finish and a poor start to the season weighed him down as the former multiple National rally champion lies on 110.
The situation in the MRF Formula 1600 is vastly different with Ashwin Sundar, having won five of the eight races, comfortably in the lead with 161 points, followed by teenager Tarun Reddy (105) who won two outings, Sudarshana Rao (97), winner of one race, and Vikash Anand (96).
Defending champion Feroze Khan, son of former National champion Ayub Khan, heads the Indian Junior Touring Car series with 141 points, inclusive of five wins that accurately reflect the form he is in, while Raja Rajan (Performance Racing) is a distant second (86).
Further down the grid, S Narendran of Wallace Sports, tops the LGB Formula 4 series with 125 points from five consecutive victories, well clear of Sudanand Rajan (78) of Kari Sports, who has finished on podium in all the five completed races.
Bangalore's Deepak Paul Chinappa of MM Racing (79 points) and Prashanth K of Wallace Sports (75) are locked in a bitter struggle for supremacy in the Formula Swift category.
Deepak Paul, son of two-wheeler legend CK Chinappa, has one win and three second place finishes while Prashanth won three consecutive races after starting the season with two non-finishes.
In the mix this weekend is the weather that can influence the results as despite a dry weather forecast, there is still a possibility of some rain that will indeed put to test the driving skills. As per the official schedule, Friday is reserved for free practice sessions for all vehicles while the races will be run on Saturday and Sunday.
--IANS (Posted on 22-08-2013)