Hemanth Mudappa emerged as the national champion for the fourth successive year in the second and final round of the MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Drag Championship at the MMRT in Chennai on Sunday. Touching speeds of 205.65kmph, the 31-year old Bengaluru-based rider won the above 1051cc class with ease, clocking 7.879 seconds for a course of 402 metres, beating privateer Baba Satagopan (8.263) to second and convincingly defeating dark horse Hafizullah Khan (who finished third) with a time of 8.362 as the fight fizzled out to a one-man show. In the 850 to 1050cc class, he clocked 8.071 for his second gold of the day. Zubair Ali Jung came second in 8.202sec while Baba Satagopan was third in 8.306sec. Tuned by Sharan Pratap, who continued the legacy of popular Pratap Jayaram, Hemanth was astride a black race-spec BMW S 1000 RR and soon celebrated his victory with a custom-made helmet and champion T-shirt.
Hemanth won the National Drag Championship in the Feature race of the Unrestricted Foreign Open class in the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 besides winning the top two classes above 1051cc and 850 to 1050cc in 2018, and two more golds in the same classes today to make it his seventh national title. The Feature event, Unrestricted Foreign Open was not run this year.
“Winning can be an excellent form of motivation for a time, but the drive to be just a little bit better every single day can make you unstoppable,’’ he said, celebrating with his team and tuner Sharan Pratap, who added, “It is hard work throughout the year. For this one day and two races, we prepare the whole year.”
In other classes, J Bharat Raj clocked 14.420 to win the gold in the 4stroke 165cc category beating PM Soorya to second and R Aravind Ganesh took third place. In the 361 to 55cc, former racing champion Karthik Mateti of Hyderabad won the National title edging out Aiyaz while Thulsi Ram took third. In the 226 to 360cc class, PM Soorya too had a close finish over J Bharat Raj to win the National title. Shankar Guru took third place.
Ultimately, though, the national title went to Hemanth Muddappa (Mantra Racing) in the Above 1051cc and 851-1050cc classes, Aiyaz in the 361-550cc class and 131-165cc two-stroke classes, J Bharath Raj (Rulexx Rockers Racing) in the 4-stroke Up to 165cc and 226-360cc classes, and Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) in the Girls class. Finally Mohammed Rafiq took the win in the 2-stroke Upto 130cc class
The category-wise provisional results of the final run are as follows: