JK Tyre National Racing championship begins Saturday

February 11th, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Feb 11 (IANS) Bucking the recessionary trend that has severely impacted motor sport internationally, the Indian domestic series will come under starter’s orders as the first round of the 2009 JK Tyre National Racing championship gets underway Saturday at the MMST track in Sriperumbudur, about 40 km from here this weekend.
The two-day event will be the first of the six rounds scheduled for the season that will extend from Feb 14-15 to Oct 3-4. The second and third rounds will be held at Coimbatore.

Announcing the schedule and other details of the 12th running of the championship, chairman of the meet Rajay Syal said the series will witness a few changes, but the grids in all the four classes - the showpiece Rolon-Chevrolet, LGB Swift, LGB Hyundai Endurance, the Super Bikes (600cc and 1000cc) and the newly-introduced Super Saloon - has attracted sizeable entries.

The organisers have decided to do away with the reverse grid formation besides one qualifying session to identify the two best lap timings for grid positions for the double-header (each round comprises two races).

“We decided on these changes following feedback from the competitors. We will also be importing timing equipment that will be available from the second round onwards. It will help us to provide sector and split timings,” said Syal.

While the points structure remains the same, no points will be awarded for the fastest lap, he added.

The Rolon class has attracted 10 entries including National champion Gaurav Dalal and 2007 winner Aditya Patel. Besides, other regulars like Ashwin Sundar, Saran Vikram, Saahil Shelar, Karthik Shankar, Ajay Kini, Akhil Khushlani, Sarosh Hataria and Shankar Narayan will take part. They will be representing the four teams - Red Rooster Racing, NK Racing, Ram’s Racing and Kamlesh Patel. Saran has entered as a privateer.

The LGB Swift class, open only to non-championship winners, has a grid of 17 cars representing Team Wallace Sports, Meco Racing and TVS Girling.

There are 10 entrants for the LGB Hyundai Endurace race that will be limited to a 45-minute run with a mandatory pit stop. Last year, it was a 90-minute race with two drivers per car.

Syal said the Super Saloon car class (cc to weight ratio) has a grid of 30, the same as the Super Bikes Cup. Both these classes have traditionally been the biggest attraction and Syal believed that it would be the same this year too.

On show in the bike races are India’s three top riders - Dilip Rogger, Preetam Dev Moses and K. Rajini.

The prize-money structure remains unchanged at Rs 20,000 for winner, Rs 15,000 for second place and Rs 10,000 for third.

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