JK Tyre National Racing Championship begins Sunday

June 28th, 2008 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

By Anand Philar
Coimbatore, June 28 (IANS) With winds of change blowing across the Indian motor sport landscape, the second round of the 11th JK Tyre National Racing Championship will be held at the Kari Speedway track here Sunday. The JK championship, which began with the Formula cars fitted with the 800cc Maruti engines, has since evolved into a full-fledged series with the induction of the more powerful Hyundai, Suzuki Swift and the Chevrolet formulae.

While the Formula Hyundai had a rather short life and has since been relegated to an endurance event, the Swift and Chevrolet classes have proved to be the nurseries for motor sport talent.

The current crop of Indians racing in international Formula series, Karun Chandhok, Armaan Ebrahim, Aditya Patel and Ashwin Sundar, have all been products of this championship that is run over six rounds in Coimbatore and Chennai.

Ashwin, the 19-year from Chennai, who made his international debut this year in the Formula Volkswagen German series, heads both Swift and Chevrolet series after three podium finishes in the first round at Chennai in February.

It is likely that he will consolidate his position with yet another strong performance Sunday.

Undoubtedly, Ashwin is among the most talented racing driver in India besides Karun and Armaan. His recent German experience should stand him in good stead in the Indian series now that he has decided to stay with single-seater in preference to his “first love”, two-wheeler racing.

Along with the Formula races, competitions in the freshly revived saloon car and super bike classes would be run.

In February, neither of these two classes provided much “action” with Dilip Rogger, India’s premier rider, dominating the two-wheeler section while veterans having their say in saloon car class.

In fact the saloon car racing has not thrown up any new talent going by the first round showing. Although it was a crowd-puller in the past, the two-year break has led to rusting of not just the cars but also the drivers. In the event, the veterans have enjoyed the upper hand, using their vast experience to stamp out competition from young pretenders.

The prospects of showers might add some much-needed spice to the proceedings.

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