Coimbatore, August 31: The Chennai trio of Ashwin Datta, Vishnu Prasad and Joseph Matthew will aim to consolidate their positions at the top of the leaderboard as the curtain goes up on Round 2 of the 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship here on Saturday.
Ashwin Datta, who surprised the field by nosing ahead in Round 1 of the blue riband Euro JK 18 event despite not winning a single race, will hope to rectify that. He was very consistent though, managing three podium finishes to garner 24 points.
Sri Lanka's Brayan Perera and Karthik Tharani, however, are just one point adrift (at 23 points) and will hope to dismantle Ashwin from the top. They won two races each but also finished fifth and sixth in the other two to slide down the table.
Mumbai's Nayan Chatterjee will also be pushing hard to prove his class. He suffered an early setback as his car forced him to pull out in the season’s first race. He made up in the last three races to add 20 points into his kitty and he will be eager to fire in this round.
"It was a great opening round and it did throw some surprises. I am sure the teams and drivers are raring to go and we look forward to another exhilarating round of racing," Sanjay Sharma, head of JK Tyre Motorsports, said.
Chennai's Vishnu Prasad was imperious in the LGB Formula 4, sweeping 22 points in the three races. He, however, will be feeling the heat as his buddy Raghul Rangasamy is just one point behind him.
The LGB class will again be the cynosure of all eyes, with the Ahura girls creating a buzz with their presence. The six ladies, who had been selected after a nation-wide hunt, gave a good account of themselves too, finishing all their races with elan.
Led by film actress Manisha Kelkar, they have been training hard at the Kari Motor Speedway since the week began and will be keen to led their brigade into the Top 10.
Joseph Mathew, who won both his JK Tyre Suzuki Gixxer Cup races in Round 1 easily, will be the rider to catch once again.
Similarly, in the Red Bull Road to Rookies, Mizoram's Zothanmawia won both his races to launch his campaign on a high note. His city-mates PC Andy Lalhmangaihsanga and Jerome Vanlalrengpuia are 6 points behind, at 14, setting the stage for an exciting weekend.
Round 2 of the JKNRC will see the introduction of a new class, the JK Tyre Novice Cup, giving youngsters another platform to sharpen their racing skills.
JK Tyre has always been closely associated with the world of sports. Almost three decades back the company laid down a long term and sustained approach to promote Motorsport. Participating in this form of the sport has helped the company in continuously updating its products to meet the challenges of gruelling Indian conditions. The sport at that time in India was perceived for elite but JK Tyre took upon itself to package and redesign the sport to suit the masses. The company not only made the sport affordable but also equivalent to International operating standards. JK Tyre’s foray into Motorsport was a well thought out strategic decision to not only use and develop this virgin branding platform but also to realize the dreams of making India a force in the field of motor sport.
In 2011, the company acquired the Formula BMW Series and rechristened it as the JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS). With this acquisition, JK Tyre created history in Indian Motorsport by becoming the first Indian company to acquire an FIA accredited series. By taking over the series, JK Tyre promises to utilize it as a platform to encourage and support the world’s best racing drivers and promote India as one of Asia’s motorsport capitals.
Thus, JK Tyre has conquered two steps in the motorsport program where the new racing aspirants first establish themselves in
India, then graduate to Asian level i.e. to Formula BMW, which is now JKRAS and then they move to higher levels of racing. JK Tyre now stands closer to achieving its mission of bringing world-class motorsport to the Indian masses. The Racing and Karting programme by JK Tyre has been the breeding ground for the country's motorsport talents like Narain Karthikeyan, Armaan Ebrahim, Karun Chandhok, Aditya Patel and other emerging talent.
Another pioneering initiative was the launch of the Truck Racing Championship in India in partnership with Tata Motors. The company developed & designed “JetRacing”-the new generation truck racing tyres especially for this application. With this, JK Tyre became the first tyre company to produce truck racing tyres in India. The combination of the Prima trucks fitted with Jet Racing received an overwhelming response from participants and has definitely brought in a revolution in the Indian racing scenario.
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