by Prashant Kapadia/NHN
Coimbatore, August 30: Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad will look at consolidating his position at the top of the table as Round 2 of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship 2019 gets underway at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
The MSport driver was in his usual menacing form in the opening round, winning two races and finishing second in the other to accumulate a total of 28 points. Vishnu, who missed last year’s championship by a whisker, will hope to turn that around as he attempts to own the highly competitive FLGB-4 category.
However, it will not be an easy task as his city- and team-mate Raghul Rangasamy is breathing fiercely down his throat. The defending champion also had an eventful first round, winning one race and taking the second and third position in the other two races. He is just four points adrift of Vishnu and will aim to topple the leader.
Both will keep a sharp eye on Dark Don’s Ashwin Datta, who is in the third place with 17 points. Ashwin has the track record to shift to a higher zone and leave everybody in his wake.
The JK Tyre Novice Cup is likely to see a keen tussle between Aaroh Ravindra (Momentum Motorsports) and Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motorsports). Mumbai’s Aaroh finished second in all the three races but still managed to win the round as Chirag was penalised by 10 seconds in the last race, to slide down to the 8th position.
That put his tally at 21 points, 3 behind Aaroh. Mohamed Rayan (MSport) is on the third position with 16 points.
In the JK Tyre Suzuki Gixxer Cup, Syed Muzammil Ali of Bangalore was the standout performer in the opening round, winning both his races in a canter to take the top spot with 20 points. He was literally untouchable in Round 1 and will be looking for an encore in this round.
Pune’s Tanay Gaikwad with two second-place finishes is on 16 points and will definitely pose a huge threat to Muzammil. Local boy Sidharth Sajan is in the third place with 12 points and will go into the round with his eyes firmly set on the top podium.
Satara’s Ikshan Shanbag, with two wins out of two, will hope to retain his position in the JK Tyre Redbull Road To Rookies.
However, he will face a stiff challenge from Pune’s Aryan Gaurav (14 points) and Chennai’s Prashnth R (12 points), who are currently second and third in the pecking order.
About JK Tyre Motorsport:JK Tyre has been closely associated with the world of motorsports for almost three decades back. The company laid down a long term plan to popularise and promote the sport in the country. Its first target was to change the notion that this was a sport for the elite. So it packaged and redesigned it in a spectator-friendly way, drawing the masses to the sport.
We then endeavoured to spot, nurture and sharpen the drivers to turn them into world champions. With this goal in mind, we conceptualized the JK Tyre National Racing Champion in 1997. Our efforts started paying dividends in just a few years’ time, with the likes of Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok going all the way to the F1 rung, the highest level of single-seat racing in the world.
Since then, a number of stars emerged, including Armaan Ebrahim, the Maini brothers (Kush and Arjun), Anindith Reddy Konda, amongst many others.
Before all this, JK Tyre had a successful stint in rallying too, conquering the scene in the early 90s. At the same time, gradually, we moved on to various disciplines, including cross-country rallying and off-roading, leaving a mark in each of them with their unique and innovative ways.
JK Motorsports is also very proud of the role it has played in bringing women into motorsports in a big way. Apart from encouraging them to get into the sport through karting as kids, we also gave them opportunities in various national championships.
Last year was particularly rewarding for us as an All-Women Racing team was introduced for the first time in the LGB 4 category. In addition, we also undertook various other initiatives to encourage them to try motorsports, even if for fun to begin with.
We tied up with the Young Women’s Wing of FICCI to conduct the YFLO Power Drive, a TSD Event for their lady members. The event saw more than 100 ladies participating in the event and driving all the way to Manesar from Delhi.
We also associated with the Times Group and executed the JK Tyre Times Women’s Drive, North with as many as 300 ladies taking part in this FMSCI approved TSD Drive from Delhi to Chandigarh.
We also had the Rally to the Valley, again only for women, which was another major hit. Over 300 women participated in it, driving from Mumbai to Lonavla. The entire route saw spectators line up as the ladies, in their decorated cars and fancy attires, raced in their quest for mega prizes.
To supplement JK Tyre’s entry into the two-wheeler market, the JKNRC hosted the Suzuki Gixxer Cup and the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup categories and saw enthusiastic participation from across the country.
Today, the company is synonymous with motorsports, and even more so with racing, creating a lot of goodwill for the brand. Right from budding racers to accomplished drivers in the country, everybody owes their rise and success to JK Tyre.