New Delhi, Nov 17: Chennai’s Karthik Tharani and Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee won a race apiece on Day 1 of the Grand Finale of the 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship, throwing open the Euro JK 2018 here at the BIC on Saturday.
The other stalwarts from Chennai, Vishnu Prasad in the LGB 4 and Joseph Mathew in the Suzuki Gixxer Cup, enjoyed a mixed day but still managed to hang on their leads.
Vishnu won one race and finished fourth in the second to amass 76 points, to be six points clear of the field. Joseph, on the other hand, lost the first race of his season, but was still comfortably placed on 60 points.
The International Asia Cup of Road Race that was run in tandem with the Suzuki Gixxer Cup saw India A’s Karthik Mateti making his mark, winning the race ahead of his Asian counterparts. Sri Lanka’s Hansika Abeysinghe claimed the second place while Australia’s Max Stauffer took the third.
Karthik began the weekend on a positive note, grabbing the pole position in the Euro JK on Friday evening. He made the most of his early advantage to win Race 1 in 20:36.010 gruelling minutes.
Nayan, who started from P3, put up an aggressive run, even recording the fastest lap time of 2:02:671 in the ninth. He attacked Karthik but just couldn’t find a way past him.
Ashwin Datta, who came into the finale as championship leader, began from P5 after a poor qualifying session. He couldn’t make up ground in the race either, finishing fifth and allowing Karthik and Nayan to catch up on him.
Ashwin began from P2 in the second race as the reverse grid came into play but couldn’t show the same speed that had put him on top of the table through the season. He suffered a 10-second penalty for a jump start to finish last.
Nayan (P5) and Karthik (P6) made their moves right away, surging past the field to take the first two places. It helped Karthik sneak ahead of Ashwin by three points, giving him a total of 82 points. Nayan’s 15-point haul on the day saw him jump to 81 points. Ashwin is now in third place with 79 points.
The Euro JK will fittingly be decided on the last day of the championship, the Grand Finale on Sunday, in front of close to 50,000 screaming fans.
MSport’s Vishnu Prasad showed his usual verve as he claimed Race 1, streaking past pole leader Dark Don’s Rohit Khanna and Sandeep Kumar. He also took the fourth place in Race 2 to be in a good position to take home the title.
Rohit finished second in R2, behind Diljith TS, but that was not good enough to bring him back into contention.
(Race 1): 1. Karthik Tharani; 2. Nayan Chatterjee; 3. Brayan Perera
(Race 2): 1. Nayan Chatterjee; 2. Arya Singh; 3. Karthik Tharani
(Race 1): 1. Vishnu Prasad; 2. Raghul Rangasamy; 3. Sohil Shah
(Race 2): 1. Diljith TS; 2. Rohit Khanna; 3. Sandeep Kumar
1. Karthik Mateti; 2. Hansika Abeysinghe; 3. Max Stauffer
1. Vidhan Dubey; 2. Anthony Lalawmpuia; 3. Clinton Cordeiro
1. Gurvinder Singh; 2. Dilip Rogger; 3. Deepak Ravi Kumar
1. Vijay Singh; 2. Kulwant Singh; 3. Kamran Dubash
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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