The 2018 JK Tyres FMSCI national championship kicked off at the Kari Speed during the weekend of 6-8 July. Now in its 21st year, the championship has been a premier feature of the Indian racing scene and has been the launch pad for nearly every big Indian name in the global racing fraternity.
Before we get into the racing action, here is a little background into what goes on over the race weekend. There’s 2 races- the Formula LGB4 which is the entry-point into the big bad world of single seat racing and from there many of the future racers make their way to the Euro JK category series.
Suitable for all ages
The Formula LGB series was launched in 2006 and by global standards, it is considered the equivalent of the legendary Formula Ford series. It has replaced the Formula Maruti Series but it still makes use of the absolutely epic 1.3-litre G-series four-pot petrol engine found in the first generation Swift and the erstwhile Maruti Suzuki Esteem. There’s little to no aerodynamic aids, a tubular frame, five-speed gearbox, 90bhp and just 450kgs to play around making it the perfect place to help future racers hone their skills and in the long run showcase their talents.
The Big Boy's Toy
Euro JK- well that’s a different story. This too is a single seat race car but since the stakes are higher, the challenge has to be bigger too. There’s aerodynamics, a sequential gearbox with paddle shifters, chunky JK racing slicks and a 1.2-litre BMW motorcycle engine that revvs upto…wait for it…9550rpm! Thrown in with this mix is an incredible sound track that I can best describe as being between hearing a tiger roar and putting your ear up close to a lathe machine when something is being worked on. We’ve looked at the top 5 features of the Euro JK 18 race car in a separate story and you can read about that here.
Stories from behind the wheel
But that’s not all. We also had a chat with Nayan Chaterjee, an upcoming star who is in his second year of Euro JK. He’s given us some insight into what it takes to succeed behind the wheel when going to wheel-to-wheel with someone who is equally motivated, competitive and only sees the top step of the podium in his/her sights. He might be all of just 19 years but speaking to him reveals just how much one needs to do to keep the fire burning strong. You can read about that here.
The Race Weekend
Action over the course of two days was filled with intermittent bouts of rain making the track slick and slippery, but also adding to spectacle. Race 1 of the Euro JK 18 saw Nayan Chaterjee take pole but victory going to Karthik Tharani. An unforeseen technical error saw the second Euro JK 18 race being pushed to Sunday morning and here Sri Lankan, Bryan Perea, took top honours. Bryan Perera continued his day of victory by taking top honours in race 3 and 4. However, thanks to consistency of podiums, Ashwin Datta is the championship leader at this point (round 1).
While the Euro JK18 race did get a chance to run in the dry for a significant period, the Formula LGB4 saw action in the water during race 3. The safety car started the proceedings but once the racing line had dried out, the safety car peeled in and everyone got down to business as usual. Vishnu Prasad took victory in race 1 on Saturday while Rohit Khanna and Ragul Rangasamy claimed victories in race 2 and 3.
We’ve detailed the action from Kari speedway on both the days and you can read about day 1 here and day 2 here.
This season of the JK Tyre championship also sees the entry of an all-girls team in the form of Ahura Racing. Based out of the Kari Speedway itself, the team made its debut this season and entered six competitors in the action. In its debut race, Megaa KS of Coimbatore emerged as the top team player at Ahura and posted a top time of 18.09.51.
Still in a hurry at Kari
All the action will return to the Kari Speedway in Coimbatore during the weekend of August 31 to September 2 and will see drivers from both Formula LGB4 and Euro JK18 return to participate in the action.