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GAURAV GILL BESTOWED WITH ARJUNA AWARD INDIA’S FIRST DOMESTIC MOTORSPORTS & OFF-ROAD MAGAZINE

80 SEPT/OCT 2019 | Rs.

GURMEET-CHETAN CONQUER RFC 2019 JK KARTING Shahan National Champion

MRF F1600 Double for Sohil Shah

INRC Chetan-Dilip emerge triumphant

AISHWARYA FIRST INDIAN

BAJA WORLD CHAMPION

FIRST DRIVE

KIA SELTOS


EDITORIAL / IMPRINT

IMPRINT Editor S. Ashok Kumar Tiwari

Hi, Our New Look. AUTO TRACKis on a new track...

F

irstly, I would like to thank my advertisers, readers, family, Autotrack team and all my well-wishers for making this occasion happen, with their uninterrupted support and encouragement, which showed us the path of success. Indeed, it is a moment of joy to step into the 13th year and looking back, little did we know the journey which began 12 years ago as a passion, which gradually converged into a profession, and we stand tall with the increasing subscriber base. We are also utilising the digital platform, releasing from this issue, as most of our NRI friends who have now migrated across the globe, had this long-pending demand and they would now be able to have access through Magzter. Adding up to the happiest moments to the motorsports fraternity, we had two good achievements by our sportsmen and women. Gaurav Gill is finally, honoured with Arjuna Award for his long-standing achievements at Asian level. This award along with Gaurav, adds up much value to the sport. Finally, the second person from the fraternity, to be recognised with the highest awards by the Union Government. With this award, now the responsibility for running the sport clear and safe lies on us and this award comes with a rider of responsibilities. The World Cup win for Aishwarya Pissay, as she bags the FIM Baja World Championship in women's category, is nevertheless, a creditable effort and first by an Indian in motorsports. Despite the slowdown, most of the championships are moving on and nearing completion. Sprint for fourwheelers is scheduled to take-off only after January, as INRC calendar is spread up to December 2019. Three championships, however, which were allotted by FMSCI, failed to take-off from the promoters' side. Hence, the Federation has allotted them to a few organisers individually, to run a few rounds and give a kick-start to the pending events.

Concept and Design: S. Ashok Kumar Tiwari Staff Photographers: Keshav Murthy, Nirav Mehta Prakash Rawat, Noor Director / Correspondent: Roopa A. Tiwari General Manager Circula on & Sr. Correspondent: S. Nithyanand Correspondent: K. Manjunath Ghanshyam A Tiwari Spl. Correspondent: David Bodapa Western Region: autotrack.west@gmail.com Mob 09757176958 Northern Region: autotrack.north@gmail.com Mob 09871765886 Editorial Office: Auto Track 7/3-1, Lalitha Engineering Building, Subbanna Garden Main Road, Vijayanagar, Bangalore-40 autotrack.editor@gmail.com www.autotrack.ind.in For Subscrip on, contact: 9845296190 For Adver sement, E: ashok.autotrack@gmail.com

Gaurav's international journey this year begins with JK Tyre, as he keeps his first foot this year in the Turkey round for WRC2. We wish him all the very best for the season.

The Publisher makes every effort to ensure that the magazine’s contents are accurate. However, he accepts no responsibility of any effects arising therefrom. Printed at Raj Hans Enterprises, Rajajinagar Industrial Town, Bangalore-560044.

S. ASHOK KUMAR TIWARI Editor M: +91-9845296190 autotrack.editor@gmail.com

Published by S.Ashok Kumar Tiwari At # 7/3-1, Lalitha Engineering Building, Subbanna Garden Main Road, Vijayanagar, Bangalore - 560040

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 6 O2 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019


CONTENTS

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

28

44 RALLY: 28 COIM INRC 4W 32 NASHIK INRC 2W 48 COIM INRC 2W

16 OFF-ROAD

24 OTHERS:

DAKSHIN DARE SPRINT COIM RFC GOA

BOAT RACE KID BIKES REVIEW

74 76

52 44

OFF-ROAD TROPHY

40

74

51

20

O4 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

70 64

RACING: 2W NATL RACING 4W NATL RACING 2W NATL RACING 4W NATL RACING

32

78

40 24 60 56


READERS VOICE

"It is an honour for me to get the Arjuna Award. More than me, it is a recognition to motorsports and will be a big encouragement for more and more to take up the sport,'' said Gill. "It will now be easier for young kids to take up motorsports as they can make a career out of it in the future. They can tell their parents someone's got an Arjuna Award, why not me next?" The award is also expected to boost the image of motorsports: "It is time we educate people and create awareness about our sport," he added.

It is good that finally motorsports is recognised by Government of India and Gaurav Gill is honoured for his three years of high achievements at Asia level. This award might bring diginity to the sport but there shall be no gain, if it does not translate into facilities and sponsorship. Earlier, when Narain Karthikeyan was honoured with Padma Shri for his achievements, there was the same uprising of hope. But when you turn back and see, there was no development, nor was the sport considered for the award. The Federation had, on earlier two occasions, recommended his name for the same but nothing materialised. But meeting organised with the new Sports Minister attended by the Vice-President of FMSCI and other stakeholders had bore fruit. As there are more number of followers for Rallying, rather than Racing, we might see some sea changes in that area due to the huge fan following. Also, Gaurav is busy preparing for the upcoming Turkey round of WRC2, let us wish him best of luck.

The two-wheeler Rally Commission meeting will happen shortly, but will there be any outcome? The Commission sits to understand the further needs and changes required for the sport. Two-wheeler Rallying is one such sport, which has shown steady growth since three years under promoter GodSpeed and MRF as sponsor. So to carry this forward in much-better way, the meeting stands crucial. Also, the long pending demand for a class for the veterans, might also be discussed as there are a few veterans who have been competing along with youngsters for a long time now. Cash Prize, class formations will dominate the meeting. Group A has been facing a lot of documentation issues which stands as a priority to save the class. The charm of the sport relies on these fast machines and there need to be some concessions for it to prevail. A great Championship for Aishwarya? Aishwarya becomes the first Indian participant to receive such high international

Technology

O6 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

recognition for her championship win. Of course, anyone who followed her rise from the scratch will be very happy for her. Her never-giveup attitude had seen her bounce back from two major life-threatening surgeries for two different injuries and made her stronger. The boiling point at which others may easily give-up. She began her journey from there, to prove what women are capable of. Within three years she managed to reach this heights, which no other Indian has managed in motorsports. Everyone wishes to see her dreams flourishing. After winning a twin Indian championships in 2017, she went on to win the INRC ladies class National championship title within the recovery period after her serious internal injury that occurred during the Spain Baja in 2018. This year, already with the FIM Baja World Cup in the women's class in her kitty, she is sure of a third-in-a-row two-wheeler Rallying Championship win. Above all she managed to bring in immense results to her supporting brands giving them good visibility, much more than the RoI they would have expected.


Increased BHP Increased Torque Quickshifter Compatible Enhanced throttle response Reduced Vibration


MOTORSPORTS

NEWS

Podium for Jehan Daruvala at Silverstone

Raiden, Nirvaan excel Indian kart racers from Team Rayo Racing, Raiden Samervel and Nirvaan Chandna put on a fine show bagging first and second in the Novice Category of the fourth round of the AutoInc Asia Max Challenge 2019. Both teenagers participating in the Micro Max category th th finished 12 & 13 overall, respectively recently. Racing at the Asian Rotax at the 1.2km Sepang circuit in Malaysia was very exciting. I was up against the best and

it was a great learning experience. Winning the Novice Category was a moment I will never forget," said 12-year-old Raiden Samervel. Nirvaan Chandna added: "The race weekend was very thrilling and I learned a lot, especially driving on the Sepang international kart circuit, which is quite a fast track. Racing against so many racers from around Asia also taught me a lot. I intend to work harder and do better."

Indian racing sensation Jehan Daruvala scripted history as he became the first-ever Indian to go atop the FIA F3 Championship leader board momentarily after clinching the second position in an action packed feature race at the famous Silverstone circuit on July 14. This was Jehan's fifth podium finish of the season which helped him to take a two-point lead over Russia's Robert Shwartzman. "Race 1 was good, I had quite a good pace. I tried to overtake Juri a few times but his defence was good, he drove well and didn't make

any mistakes. It was great to get on to the top of the championship standings. For the second race, not finishing the race was a disappointment from my side but this kind of stuff happens in racing. What I'm pleased about is that the speed was good and we were fighting for the podium again in the sprint race after starting seventh due to the reverse grid. I'm not going to put myself back at all, I'm keeping my head down and keep attacking for the next rounds." Jehan said after the race.

TVS MotoSoul, a global event TVS Motor Company, a reputed manufacturer of twowheelers and three-wheelers in the world, announced MotoSoul, a global event for performance motorcycle enthusiasts. Held in association with TVS Racing, the factory racing team of TVS Motor Company, MotoSoul is scheduled between October 18 & 19 at Vagator, Goa. The event aims at establishing a connect with Apache Owners Group as well as

performance motorcycle enthusiasts across the world to celebrate their love for motorcycles. MotoSoul will be an annual event with MotoSoul 2019 being the first edition.

Tata Power, Tata Motors for electric mobility Tata Power and Tata Motors announced their partnership to install 300 fast-charging stations by the end of the FY20, across the five key cities, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Both companies inaugurated their first seven

Technology

08 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019


MOTORSPORTS

NEWS

Gaurav Gill

bestowed with Arjuna Award King of Indian motorsports, rally driver Gaurav Gill long recognised as a gifted driver with aggressive and attacking speed has ruled the Indian rally scene for over about two decades. But the prestigious Arjuna Award was long due and finally, the Delhibased driver was bestowed with the award for his achievements in motorsports by President Ram Nath Kovind at the National Sports Day Awards ceremony organised at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, 29th August.

"It is an honour for me to get the Arjuna Award. More than me, it is a recognition to motorsports and will be a big encouragement for more and more to take up the sport,'' said Gill.

Gill has won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship three times and Indian National Rally Championship six times. In 2018, he participated in four rounds of the World Rally Championship 2 and this year he is scheduled to take part in three rounds of the WRC2 beginning with the Rally of Turkey. He is also being fielded for the Wales Rally GB and Rally Australia. Government of India through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports presents the Arjuna Award to outstanding athletes for excellence in their respective sport. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India had nominated Gill's name for the past three years. Gill was awarded the Arjuna for his exploits in the APRC, which he took part and won in the MRF colours."It is an honour for me to get the Arjuna Award. More than me, it is a recognition to motorsports and will be a big encouragement for more and more to take up the sport,'' said Gill.

"It will now be easier for young kids to take up motorsports as they can make a career out of it in the future. They can tell their parents someone's got an Arjuna Award, why not me next?" The award is also expected to boost the image of motorsports: "It is time we educate people and

Technology

10 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

create awareness about our sport," he added. "The basic thing is that if you understand what it's all about, then you'll gain popularity. With popularity, it will become more commercial and that means more sponsors and more money in the sport," he concluded.


MOTORSPORTS

NEWS

Aishwarya Pissay

wins Baja World Cup in women's class Aishwarya Pissay, the 23-year old from Bengaluru, created history by annexing the FIM World Cup in the Women's category on August 12, post the final round of the championship, at Varpalota in Hungary. She became the first Indian ever to win a World title in Motorsport. Aishwarya also finished second in the FIM Junior category on conclusion of the four-round Championship. Aishwarya, who won the first round in Dubai and was placed third (Portugal), fifth (Spain) and fourth (Hungary) in the subsequent outings, finished with a tally of 65 points, just four ahead of Portugal's Rita Vieira in the final Overall standings for Women. She was placed second in the Junior category with 46 points, behind championship winner Tomas de Gavardo (60) of Chile. Going into the Hungarian Baja, Aishwarya (52) and Vieira (45) were the top contenders for the World Cup. The fourth place finish earned the Indian 13 points while

"It's absolutely overwhelming. I am out of words. After what happened last year, my ?rst international season, when I crashed in Spain Baja and suffered careerthreatening injuries, to come out and win the championship, is a great feeling.

14 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Vieira, who was placed third, garnered 16. An ecstatic Aishwarya, sponsored by TVS Racing, Sidvin, Mountain Dew, Scott Motorsports India, K&N, Cult Sport and BigRock Dirt Park, said after the podium ceremonies: "It's absolutely overwhelming. I am out of words. After what happened last year, my first international season, when I crashed in Spain Baja and suffered career-threatening injuries, to come out and win the championship, is a great feeling. "It was a tough phase of my life, but I believed in myself and was determined to get back on the bike which I did after nearly six months. So, winning the World Cup is huge for me and I will look to better my performance having gained this experience. I also hope I will be able to get more sponsors on board and eventually realise my dream of participating in and finishing the Dakar Rally (considered World's most difficult crosscountry race). In any case, I

will pursue that dream no matter what." Reflecting on her Hungarian Baja performance, Aishwarya said: "Without a doubt, the Hungarian Baja was one of my best races though I didn't win. It wasn't an easy race. Given the nature of the terrain, it was more of endurance than just pace. I was riding a smaller bike (250cc) as against the 450cc bikes other girls were on. So, there was always a difference of 20-25 minutes between me and the other riders. “Also, I was wrongly given a road penalty for early check-in which wasn't my fault. All these factors added to my time. On the positive side, I was happy that I was closing the gap between me and other riders in front of me. I was able to get within seven minutes of Rita (Vieira) and that gave me the confidence. However, it was more about finishing the race and I was focussed on that."


COIMBATORE

Raghul, Vishnu

"JKNRC has been a huge hit with a number of talented drivers emerging over the years. However, we noticed that we were graduating to the international level rather quickly, leaving a void at home," Sanjay Sharma, Head of JK Tyre Motorsport, said. “So we decided to plug this gap by giving a wider platform for young drivers through our Formula LGB 4 category.”

bring JKNRC to life by splitting victories Momentum Motorsports' Chirag Ghorpade sparkles

I

n the revamped opening round of the championship, the focus was on younger talent and they didn't disappoint with as many as 27 lining up for their first real shot at glory. The Chennai duo of Raghul Rangasamy and Vishnu Prasad brought the opening round of the 22nd JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship to life, splitting dramatic victories in the FLGB-4 category.

16 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Novice Cup: In Race 1, Momentum Motorsports' 14year-old Chirag from Bengaluru, was the most impressive, taking the pole position in the morning and winning his first race in the Novice Cup. Chirag clocked 13minutes 37.912 seconds to beat the aggressive field by 0.338sec, leaving his teammate Aaroh Ravindra and Mohamed Ryan from MSport fighting for the other two places on the

podium. The youngster, who exhibited speed and skill, brought in his 14th birthday in style, winning Race 2 as well. Aaroh was left chasing him in this race too but Parikshit Dardhalli from DTS Racing upstaged Ryan for the third place. Race 3, saw some heated offthe-track action. Bangalore's Chirag Ghorpade from Momentum Motorsports sailed past the chequered flag for the


NATL RACING

Syed Muzammil Ali in action

I

n the revamped opening round of the championship, the focus was on younger talent and they didn't disappoint with as many as 27 lining up for their first real shot at glory. The Chennai duo of Raghul Rangasamy and Vishnu Prasad brought the opening round of the 22nd JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship to life, splitting dramatic victories in the FLGB-4 category. Novice Cup: In Race 1, Momentum Motorsports' 14-year-old Chirag from Bengaluru, was the most impressive, taking the pole position in the morning and winning his first race in the Novice Cup. Chirag clocked 13minutes 37.912 seconds to beat the aggressive field by 0.338sec, leaving his teammate Aaroh Ravindra and Mohamed Ryan from MSport fighting for the other two places on the podium. The youngster, who exhibited speed and skill, brought in his 14th birthday in style, winning Race 2 as well. Aaroh was left chasing him in this race too but Parikshit Dardhalli from DTS Racing upstaged Ryan for the third place. Race 3, saw some heated

off-the-track action. Bangalore's Chirag Ghorpade from Momentum Motorsports sailed past the chequered flag for the third consecutive time, only to discover that he had made a jump start and lost the win. He was penalised by 10 seconds that saw him slide all the way down to the eighth position. Mohamed Ryan from MSports, who had finished second after him, was declared the winner while Aaroh Ravindra from

Ashwin Dutta and Diljith TS

Raghul Rangasamy and Vishnu Prasad approaching C1

Chirag Ghorpade and Aaroh Ravindra at C2 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 17


NATL RACING

COIMBATORE

Gixxer Cup winners

Novice Cup winners

In Race 2, Raghul Rangasamy from MSport won with in a time of 18:28.329 followed by his teammate Vishnu Prasad in second and Sandeep Kumar A of Dark Don Racing in third. The final race saw Vishnu Prasad from MSport on the top slot finish despite a post-race drama. Vishnu was first dislodged from the top before being reinstated again after a series of protests. His teammate Raghul Rangasamy had to settle down to second position, as his nose was almost in line with Vishnu during the finish. Ashwin Datta from Dark Don racing finished third.

Rookies was bagged by Ikshan Shanbag. Race 2, was a repeat of Day 1 with Bangalore's Syed Muzammil Ali scoring an encore. But this time he had a comfortable win with over 5 seconds to spare. Pune's Tanay Gaikwad (14:25.458) and Sidharth Sajan (14:27.480) held on to their podium places, in almost identical fashion. The JK Tyre Redbull Road to Rookies saw Ikshan Shanbag of Satara underline his potential with a second straight win. Prashanth R from Chennai and Aryan Gurav of Pune took the other two places on the podium in that order.

Gixxer Cup: In Race 1, Syed Muzammil Ali, another Bengaluru lad, was unstoppable shining in the practice rounds, grabbing the pole in the qualifiers and winning the race too. Tanay Gaikwad from Pune and Amul Angadi from Coimbatore clinched the second and third places, respectively, in a 31-strong grid. The Redbull Road to

Ladies Class: A new

LGB Formula 4 Rookie winners

LGB Formula 4 winners 18 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

JK Tyre Suzuki Gixxer Cup start

category for women was also introduced celebrating the best racer in the LGB-4 bunch. Vadodara's Mira Erda from MSport grabbed the honours by finishing ahead of all the women in each of the races. Ahura Racing's duo of Megaa KS and Diana Pundole took the first and second runner's up trophies in this round.


BENGALURU

PHOTO BY: SHAHJAHAN

Shahan, Mihir

from Agra and Bengaluru star in Round 2 JK Tyre Karting Nationals Micro Max class spots young talent in Ishaan Madhesh

A

“

After the races, Shahan said: "It was close racing all weekend and I had some good ?ght with Manav. I am glad that I was able to maintain my championship lead. Looking forward to the next rounds where I will try to consolidate my lead."

gra's Shahan Ali Mohsin and Bengaluru's Mihir Suman Avalakki continued their good form to hold on to the lead after Round 2 of the Rotax Class of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Karting Championship 2019 at the Meco Kartopia on the outskirts of Bengaluru in July. Shahan of MSport looked at ease over the weekend as he won Race 1 and ďŹ nished second in another to notch up 86 points and took his total tally to 175 points in the Senior Max Category. Manav Sharma of Faridabad

2O AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Winners group photograph


NATL KARTING from Peregrine Racing, who was outperformed by Shahan in the opening round, however, accumulated two more points than him by finishing second in the pre-final and winning the final this time around. The Peregrine Racing driver has a total of 173 points now and is sitting on the second place. MSports' Bala Prasath finished fifth in both the races to collect 78 points and took the third position with 160 points. In the Junior Max Category, it was a clean sweep for Birel Art as they took all the podium places led by another local-lad Mihir. He did not have the best of starts to the round, finishing only fourth in the opening race.

But he came back to clinch the second place in the final race to pocket 83 points and swelled his tally to 172 points. He is tied on points with his teammate Rishon after two rounds. Rishon won both the races to amass 89 points. Ruhaan Alva is in the third place as he posted two third placefinishes to collect 82 points and took his total tally to 165 points. In the Micro Max Category, it was Peregrine Racing's Ishaan Madhesh who came up with another powerful performance winning both the races to extend his tally to 178 points. His teammate, Jagrat Detroja is on the second spot with 166 points while Anshul Sai Shivkumar is in the third place with 157 points.

Senior class

Micro Max class

Senior Max winners

Junior class

Junior class SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 21


BENGALURU

PHOTO BY: SHAHJAHAN

Chennai's Nirmal

wins Senior title with a round to spare Bengaluru's Ruhaan Alva maintains top spot in Junior class

C

hennai's Nirmal Umashankar continued his winning spree and retained the top spot in the Senior Category of X-30 class of JK Tyre-FMSCI National Karting Championship at the Meco Kartopia in Bengaluru on July 15. The talented driver, competing in the senior category, had an eventful weekend as he finished first in 3 out of 4 races on Saturday, only to falter the

22 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

following day, when he registered a fifth-place finish in his first race of the day. Nirmal made up for the temporary setback quickly by clinching an impressive first, second and another first position in the next 3 races respectively. With an enviable total of 137 points, Nirmal thus clinched the championship with a round to spare as he currently has an unbeatable lead in the Senior category after four rounds. Delhi's Debarun


X-30 KARTING

Cadet class chequred flag

Banerjee managed to consolidate 81 points by the end of Round 4. Local boy, Aditya Swaminathan is in the third place with 79 points. Meanwhile, in the Junior category, local boy Ruhaan Alva put up a stellar

performance on Saturday by picking up 33 points, followed by earning a perfect 40 on Sunday, thanks to his first-place finishes in all 4 of his Round 4 races, catapulting his total to a whopping 130 points. Ruhaan is trailed by another

local lad Arjun Nair who has a formidable total of 101 points in his kitty. Nair collected 28 and 22 points in Rounds 3 & 4 respectively to end up in the second spot as of Sunday. Local talent MR Rishon is on 74 points is in the third spot.

In the Cadet category, it was Bengaluru's very own Ishaan Madesh who stole the show with his action-packed performance over the weekend. The young racer picked up 36 points in Round 3 by winning his first 3 races of the day but was restricted to third-place in the last race in Round 3 by Pune's star driver Shriya Lohia. However, Ishaan promptly bounced back by picking up 40 points the next day, registering phenomenal first-place finishes in all 4 of his races on Sunday. Ishaan dominated the table by the end of Round 4 with 153 points to his name. Pune's Shriya Lohia stood second in the cadet category with a modest total of 107 points Sai Shiva Makesh Sankaran from Pune with 89 points was third.

Cadet class action

Winners group photograph

Junior class

Junior class SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 23


CHENNAI

PHTO BY: ANAND PHILAR / SHAHJAHAN

Double for Sohil Shah in MRF F1600 Maiden ITC win for Ishaan Dodhiwala

B

engaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah completed a fine double in the premier MRF F1600 category as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship drew to a close at the MMRT in July 21. Bengaluru's Rithvik Thomas of Race Concepts chalked up his third win of the season in the Super Stock category while Viswas Vijayaraj of DTS Racing won the Formula LGB 1300 race.

MRF F1600 In the first race, Nayan 24 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Chatterjee benefited from a drive-through penalty for pole-sitter Sohil Shah from Bengaluru for a jump start and once in front, Nayan opened up a comfortable lead to win from Chennai's Nirmal Umashankar and Coimbatore's Bala Prasath. Sohil Shah, who posted the fastest lap of the race, eventually was placed ninth. In the next race, Vishnu Prasad, starting fourth on the grid, rocketed off the blocks to take the lead in the first lap itself, and then hung on to win ahead of two other Chennai drivers,

Sandeep Kumar and Raghul Rangasamy. In Race 3, Sohil Shah was the winner again followed by A Bala Prasath from Coimbatore and Manav Sharma from Faridabad in third. Sohil Shah won the final race of the day with over 2 seconds lead. He was followed by Nayan Chatterjee from Mumbai in second the Chennai driver Vishnu Prasad in third.

Indian Touring Cars Experienced Arjun Balu of Coimbatore had a poor qualifying session due to a technical hitch with his car,

but he was not to be denied when the eight-lap race got underway. Some four corners before the end of the first lap, the Coimbatore star jumped four positions to take the lead and never looked back. Karthik Tharani (VW Motorsport) seemed content to hold his second spot behind Balu while further back, Nikanth Ram of ARKA Motorsports won a tight battle with another VW factory driver Ishaan Dodhiwala, to complete the podium. In the second race, VW Motorsport's Ishaan


NATL RACING Dodhiwala from Hyderabad notched his maiden win after his team-mate Karthik Tharani was disqualified for gross violations which appeared to be deliberate. The Stewards subsequently slapped a one-race ban which will take effect for the next round of the championship as he ignored the 'drive through' penalty board for five laps and ignored the 'black flag' for the remaining three laps of the race. Consequent to the disqualification, teammate Dodhiwala was declared winner followed by Nikanth Ram from Arka Motorsports in second and Arjun Balu from Race Concepts settled for third position.

Super Stock RP Rajarajan from Peformance Racing with a total time of 16:23.257 was the winner followed by Rithvik Thomas from Race Concepts in second with a difference of 150 seconds. Sudanand Daniel, also from Race Concepts, was a further 90 seconds behind and settled for third. Race 2 saw Rithvik Thomas climbing one position up to be top the race. RP Rajarajan slided down one position to take the second place a second behind. R

Rajashekar was a further 13 seconds away and finished in third position.

Formula LGB 1300 Race 1 was dominated by the Momentum Motorsports drivers as Ashwin Datta was the winner with a total time of 15:23.678 followed by Tijil Rao in second position with below two seconds difference and Chirag Ghorpade finished third. In Race 2, Viswas Vijayaraj from DTS Racing won with a total time of 17:43.357 followed by Sohil Shah, half a second behind in second and Race 1 winner Ashwin Datta had to settle for third position.

Ishaan Dodhiwala (No.23), winner Indian Touring Cars race

Formula 4 SEA Shihab Al Habsi from Oman won the Formula 4 SEA race, followed by Elias Seppanen in second as Alister Yoong came third. In the 12-lap Race 2, Seppanen from Finland was the winner followed by Young and Al Habsi in that order. In the 11-lap Race 3, Lucca Allen from Ireland took the victory followed by Shihab AI Habsi in second and Muizz Musyaffa in third. In the final race, Allen had the second win of the day followed by AI Habsi in second as Sappanen came third.

MRF 1600 class winners

Indian Touring Car winners

Formula LGB1300

Superstock race 2 winners SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 25


CHENNAI

Pratik Sonawane

wins season opener

Battling Saurav Bandyopadhyay manages to win Race 2

Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, said: "We are mid-way through the season and the bale for championship is only expected to intensify from here onwards. I am hoping that these close bales would continue till the last race."

P

ratik Sonawane and Saurav Bandyopadhyay won a race each at the Round 2 of Volkswagen Ameo Class National Championship 2019 at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai which was run along with he National Championship in July.

Race 1: During the qualifying session, Pratik Sonawane from Pune had taken the pole

26 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

position with the fastest lap of 1min 53.729sec. He was accompanied by Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) on the first row. They were followed by Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) and Siddharth Mehdiratta (Lucknow) on the second row. The first race of was a pretty clean race. Pratik took a strong lead after the first lap and maintained it till the chequered flag. Behind him, there was

some action during the first lap of the race as Jeet tried to challenge Saurav. Saurav maintained a defensive line through the first couple of laps to keep Jeet away and thus maintained his position till the end. Saurav and Jeet from Hyderabad maintained their respective positions while Pratik went on to register his first win of the season. Siddharth Mehdiratta from


NATL RACING Lucknow finished fourth as Anmol Singh Sahil from Gaziabad settled for fifth.

Race 2: With the top-12

L-R Pratik Sonawane, Saurav Bandyopadhyay and Avik Anwar winners of Race 2

Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India with Saurav, Pratik and Jeet

finishers of Race 1 starting in reversed grid for Race 2, Harsh Seth was on pole followed by Avik Anwar on the first row and Najeeb Shaik and Anuranjan Velmurugan on Row 2. Harsh made several mistakes on the first lap and dropped down to the 12th. The race was packed with action. Avik Anwar took the lead in the first lap and held it all the way till the last lap. Meanwhile, Pratik Sonawane who started on the 12th position climbed up lap-by-

lap and got into the second place by the last lap. Following him was Saurav Bandyopadhyay who also made steady progress through the race to come up to third position from 11th. During the last lap Avik succumbed to pressure from Pratik and Saurav from Mumbai went straight into lead. Pratik from Pune also passed Avik from Dhaka to clinch second position, Avik had to finally settle for the third position. Siddharth Mehdiratta from Lucknow finished fourth, half-a-car length behind. Aiman Sadat from Bangladesh came in half a second later to take the fifth place.

Winner Pratik Sonawane said: "It was a gradual progress for me through the weekend and most importantly I had to adapt to the track conditions as it kept on changing. On Thursday, my practice session did not go o ffwell. On Friday however, I started picking up the pace and understood where exactly I could gain time. Slowly I increased my pace in a steady manner according to my strategy and I am happy that worked in my favour." "Like always Volkswagen has put a fantastic car together which is really very efficient and something to be dependable upon. During Free Practice session 2, I was the second fastest. Luckily, I was able to improve during Qualifying Session and achieved pole position as well as my ?rst win at Race 1 of Round 2 2019," he concluded.

Pratik Sonawane winner of race 1

L-R Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India with Pratik, Saurav and Avik Race 2 winners

Saurav Bandyoapadhyay #4 in action at race 2 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 27


COIMBATORE

Chetan Shivram and Dilip Sharan emerge triumphant Top drivers including Gill fail to finish the Rally of Coimbatore PHOTO BY: SRIHARSHA NADIGER

“We went ?at-out in the ?rst stage today as the gap between us and Fabid was really narrow. So we decided to try and increase the gap ?rst and then play safe,” an elated Chetan remarked. “Suhem lost a lot time in that stage, making it just a lile easy for us, he added.

28 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019


NATL RALLY

T

eam Akshara's Chetan Shivram and co-driver Dilip Sharan added to their overnight lead with a brilliant run in two of the three stages on Sunday to emerge triumphant in the Rally of Coimbatore, the Round 2 of the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2019 as most of the top line drivers failed to finish on Day 1 on Saturday. Over 30 cars dropped out in total, as overnight rains made the surface bad to worst. Day 1 was slippery and later on ruts put most of the vehicle to rest. The lone lady team of the mother-and-daughter pair of Shivani Pruthvi & Deepti Pruthvi were among the pull outs. Most of the drivers opted out of participating for leg points on Day 2. Going into the second & final day with a mere-half-asecond lead over Suhem Kabeer a Privateer supported by JK Tyre and a 12 seconds lead over Younus Ilyas of Race Concepts also supported by JK Tyre, Chetan Shivram with brother Dilip Sharan by his side showed nerves of steel to win the overall INRC title as well as his INRC 3 category. The Day 2 excitement to see the top two, fight out in one of the closest margins in INRC, ended up in the very first stage. Chetan who had no option but to go all out in the very first stage of the day waited for Suhem to finish his run to plan his second stage strategy. But Suhem ran out of luck, as his vehicle was stuck in the slush created due to continuos rains and lost considerable amount of time. His pull out gave a great relief for the leader,

adding up to this was Younus's drive-safe approach and he was ten seconds slower. This is where Chetan extended his lead and there on for him it was a matter of bringing the car safe to the finish line. But Younus's being hot on the wheels, forced Chetan once again to a never-safefor-a-win position. Younus finally fell short of 4 seconds to take on the leader and had to settle for second overall. He made up about 18 seconds on Day 2. Fabid Ahmer was running fifth on Day 1 but managed to finish third overall with a further difference of 58 seconds. Aditya Thakur with a further over one minute difference settled for fourth, while Byram Godrej settled for fifth with a further difference of 16 seconds. Ritesh Gutterdhar couldn't capitalize on the Day 1 position, where he stood 5th and he had to pull on the second stage of the final day.

INRC 2: The pair of Younus Ilyas and Harish Gowda from Race Concepts Motorsports supported by JK Tyre was the winner with a total time of 1:33.56. Followed him in second position was Dean Mascarenhas and Shruptha Padival who climbed up from 32nd place with a difference of 6 minutes. Suhem Kabeer and Jeeva Rathinam after leading the class till Day 1 slided down to 3rd on the final day and settled for 3rd position coming behind a further 13 seconds. Vinoth G Kumar & Krishna Charan Dasari a further 12 minutes away finished 4th. Dr Bikku Babu after dropping out on Day 1, took a start for leg points on Day 2 & finished

Overall winners Chetan Shivram and Dilip Sharan

INRC 2 winners

INRC 2 second runner-up Suhem Kabeer and Jeevarathinam

Winners of INRC 2 class, Younus Ilyas and Harish Gowda SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 29


COIMBATORE his stages with 27.12 sec to stand fifth.

INRC 3: Overnight leaders Chetan Shivram and Dilip Sharan from Akshara driving a VW Polo were the winners with a total time of 1:33.51. Team Champions' Fabid Ahmer with Sanath G supported by JK Tyre was equally impressive, matching the leaders in every stage to rise from his overnight fifth place. He clinched the overall third place and took the second place in INRC 3 for a remarkable double. Aditya Thakur and Virender Kashyap from Chettinad Sporting with further one minute difference settled for third position. Their teammates occupied the following two positions. Byram Godrej and Aniruddh Rangnekar finished fourth while Sahil Khanna and Rajit Kadian settled for fifth position. This class had a total of 11 cars out of the rally due to mechanical failures.

“After continuous rainfall last night, it suddenly became sunny in the morning leading to the surface becoming really hard. There were stones all over the stages which made it difficult. I am obviously not happy with my current scenario but would say that I would take it as a learning experience and I will bounce back strong,” Gaurav said after the end of Day 1.

INRC 4: Vaibhav Marate and Arjun SSB from Team Champions won the class followed by Manoj Mohanan and Francis Sachin from Kari Motorsorts in second position with a difference of 1min 5 seconds. The third position was grabbed by Rakshith Iyer and Chandrashekar, also from Team Champions. Karthik Armugam and Harshavardhana SN a further 8 minutes behind finished fourth as the Day 1 leader Suraj Thomas and Sob George with a total time of 1:54.10 slipped down the order for fifth. FMSCI SUV Challenge: Lokesh Gowda and Sudhindra BG representing Team Champions supported by JK Tyre won the class followed by Gagan Karumbaiah and Thimmu

3O AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Overall third and JINRC winners Fabid Ahmer and Sanath G

Chandan KM and Suraj M 2nd runner-up JINRC

INRC 2 1st runner-up Dean Mascarenhas and Shrupta Padival

INRC 3 winners


NATL RALLY Uddapanda, also supported by JK Tyre, finished second with a 5 seconds difference. Sanjay Agarwal and Smitha N with a further difference of 1min 49 seconds stood third. Nikhil J and Arjun Dheerendra the privateers with a futher difference of over 5 minutes stood fourth. UG Jithendralal and Arvind Dheerendra came fifth. The remaining five cars did not finish.

JINRC: Fabid Ahmer and Sanath G were the winners followed by Rakshith Iyer and Chandrashekar in second position. Chandan KM and Suraj M had to settle for third a further 3min 30 seconds behind. The remaining 7 participants did not finish. Earlier on Day 1, interestingly, none of the INRC entries managed to

INRC 4 winners

Overall winners

Lokesh Gowda and Sudhindra BG winners of SUV class

finish. Hot favourites Mahindra Adventure's Gaurav Gill began on a positive note, scoring the fastest times in the first three stages but had to pull out immediately afterwards

due to mechanical failure. Even Karna Kadur (Arka Motorsports) & comebackboy Vikram Mathias (Race Concepts) had a rough day, falling out of contention after the third stage. Round

1 winner Dean Mascarenhas managed to finish but with a very poor second stage that got his car stuck in slush and it hurt him badly, sliding him to the 20th position.

Gagan Karumbaiah and Timmu Uddapanda 1st runner-up SUV class

SUV class winners SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 31


NASHIK

Clean sweep

rd

for Rajendra with 3 win PHOTO BY: PRAKASH RAWAT

W

ater-soaked Round 3 of the MRF MoGrip National Rally Championship held in Nashik attracted 46 participants. Right from the ceremonial flag-off, there was no relief from rain and it pounded till the prize distribution. The 14kms track was pure tarmac with a few potholes

32 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

and at places trenches filled with mud and a few places it was water logged. It was run under the cover of a beautiful scenic location and with greenery all along by the backwaters of the a dam with a few gradients. This was a last-minute change as all the riders had prepared themselves for the dirt rally. Heavy rains had washed off the track

running along the canal and water flooding over the canal road proved dangerous for rallying. Instead, the last-minute changes were done to avoid postponement of the rally. Heavy rains delayed the flag-off by over 60 minutes. Thus the recce followed suit and it was 8kms of transport to the start. Then passing through a thick

cover of green vegetation, the competitors began the rally. The same route in the same direction was taken on four times. Rajendra RE of Team TVS Racing won the rally for the third time in a row with a very comfortable margin of over 1min 46 seconds over his teammate Nataraj R. Nataraj, had a few issues with his vehicle during the


NATL RALLY recce and bogged down by them he could only manage a second position in Group A. Group 1A had three participants. Badal Doshi after skipping the second round made a great comeback with a best performance dominating all the three stages. He won with a difference of 17 seconds on the leader Jatin Jain who finished in second position. Yuvraj Patil riding a Triumph Tiger finished third a further 8min 44seconds behind. In Class 2, M Srikanth was the fastest in all the four stages. He finished on the top with a 36-second lead. Azeeb Muhammed riding a Yamaha YBX finished second and Santhosh Kour from Chikkamagaluru came a further 1min 44seconds behind in third. Muzaffar Ali had a bad day. He could not rectify the clutch issue in his bike and managed to just finish the first stage. He pulled out in Stage 2. In Class 3, Akshay Siddaramaiah riding a Hero Impulse. won with a total penalty time of 41:43.940 edging out Ishan Chandra A by a narrow margin of just two seconds. Ishan's day never went well despite being the fastest in three of the four stages as he accumulated a 60-second

Imran Pasha J 3rd overall

Syed Asif Ali winner Scooter class

M Srikanth winner class 2

Vikram K winner of class 5

Overall winners SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 33


NATL RALLY

NASHIK

Suhail Ahmed winner Class 6

Navdeep Rao winner local boys

thus slipping down to second. Francis PV from Chikkamagaluru with a further difference of 38 seconds finished third. In Class 4, Imran Pasha J, also from TVS Racing, was a deserving winner taking a huge lead after being the fastest in the first three stages. He won with a total penalty of 38:03 sec and also finished third overall. His teammate Sachin D made a desperate attempt clocking the best time in the final stage but ended up with a difference of 1min 24sec to finish second. Adnan Ahmed from Mangalore came third, a further 56 seconds behind. Samuel Jacob had to pull out in the second stage. The winner in Class 5 was Vikram K, riding a KTM Duke 390. He clocked a total penalty of 49:19 sec to edge 34 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

out Sudeep Kottary from Mangaluru to second place as he could not make up the difference of 18 seconds and settled for second.

Winners Group photograph

Shivam Wani came third a further 2min 25 seconds behind. In Class 6, Suhail Ahmed from Bengaluru, riding a RE Himalayan, ensured a comfortable victory timing 41:37 seconds. He consolidated his lead winning every stage and chalked out a huge gap of over 3min 16seconds. He was followed in second position by Vinit Sharma. Dr Richard Gladson from Kerala in his first season came third with a deficit of another 20 seconds. Nilesh Thakare from Nashik was fourth a further 7 seconds behind. Meerak Subba was a far-away fifth finishing after another 2min 22 seconds. Syed Asif Ali from TVS Racing astride a NTORQ SXR was the winner in Class 7 with a total penalty of 44:44 sec. He was followed by his teammate Pinkesh Thakkar in second position with a difference of 55 seconds. Yash Mohan Pawar, a privateer from Nashik, came third a further

2min 13sec behind. Hiten Thakkar finished fourth a further 2min 13sec behind. Kayan Patel finished fifth. But the major setback was for Shamim Khan who was leading in the rally till the final stage with a comfortable lead. But he ran out of luck in the final stage. He suffered a flat tyre after about 5 km from the start and had no opportunity to ride till the finish. But his never gave up, riding to the finish in 33 minutes, swinging and sliding for over 9 km. The lone competitor in Class 8, Aishwarya Pissay from TVS Racing, was declared the winner. In the Star of Nashik Class, Navdeep Rao clocked 45:46sec to conquer the title. Kaustubh Machhe with a difference of 55 seconds settled for second while Harshal Kadbhane with a further narrow deficit of 3 seconds came third. Kunal Ghayal finished fourth and Aditya Thakkar had to pullout in the second stage due to a mechanical failure.


BAJA ARAGON

SPAIN

Good show by Hero MotoSports th

Joaquim Rodrigues claims 6; CS Santosh recovers to finish the rally after a crash

Santosh said: "I think I made some good progress with my speed here and quite happy to ?nish the tough Baja Aragon. I had a big crash in the ?rst stage as I was looking to push hard but managed to cross the ?nish line. I guess I am working towards striking that balance and Baja Aragon was a good practice run for me to assess that. Now we take all this and build it up for the next 2 rallies in Morocco."

T

he second and the final day of the Baja Aragon concluded with another 250kms stage distance done in the reverse order of Day 1. That meant that the longer Stage 4 of about 165kms starting from Santa Eulalia and back to the Teruel was followed by the shorter Stage 3 of 65kms, starting at Banon and ending near the Rally Head Quarters in Teruel (Spain) on July 27. Both riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally finished Baja

38 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Aragon on a positive note. CS Santosh pushed hard at the beginning but a big crash in the first stage of the day impaired his ability to ride fast. In the 2nd stage, he fared much better after the team fixed the bike and he finished the overall rally in a commendable 10th spot in the FIM Bike Category. Joaquim Rodrigues, started right at the back of the pack on the final day and faced the tough task of riding in the dust of all the quads and bikes. But he soon found his rhythm and

rode well to finish in the 6th place in the final stage of the rally as he crossed the finish line. Joaquim Rodrigues said: "Today was definitely a better day as I was forced to retire due to the crash. I started at the back so it was difficult to pass all the quads and other riders with all that dust but got into a good rhythm and played safe to bring the bike home. I am happy with the result as I managed to bring my Hero across the finish line today."


BAJA ARAGON

SPAIN

Sherco TVS'

Michael Metge wins Teammates Lorenzo Santolino and Harith Noah finish th4 and 7th respectively; Aravind KP crashes out

S

herco TVS Rally Factory Team's Michael Metge continued his strong form on the final day to win the 36th edition of Baja Aragon held at Teruel in Spain recently. This is the second time the Sherco TVS Rally Factory team has won the Baja Aragon rally. Michael's teammates Lorenzo Santolino finished fourth while Harith Noah on seventh showcased strong performance. Harith Noah finished in seventh position. Earlier on Day 1, with two special stages spanning across 250kms, Metge was on top right from the start and held on to his Day 1 position. Lorenzo Santolino slipped down the order from fourth position on Day 1 to 7th on the final day while Harith managed to climb one

position up to finish 7th. Aishwarya climbed from 38th position on the initial day and managed to finish fifth in her class. Aravind KP had a crash at the end of Super Stage 2 and retired from the Rally. Super Stages 3 and 4 saw the troops traversing 250kilometres. After the win Michael Metge said: "I am thrilled to finish at the top for the second successive time. Baja is a great learning ground as the stages are long and challenging. I am grateful to Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team for the support. I had a solid outing with my teammates Lorenzo, Harith, Aravind, and Aishwarya and I wish them the best for the future Rallies."

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 39


CHENNAI

PHOTO BY: ANAND PHILAR / SRINIVASA KRISHNAN

Rajiv Sethu dominates Ravikumar, Abhimanyu win a brace each; Maiden win for Ryhana Bee in Girls Championship

Re?ecting on his win, Sethu said: "I had problems with the grip levels, and I thought I might go off. But I used my experience to stay behind Jagan and eventually passed him on the penultimate lap at the Bridge Complex left-hander. It was a tough race and I had to ?ght all the way to win."

B

itter rivals on the track, TVS Racing and Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing shared the honours in the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at Chennai on July 7. Deepak Ravikumar of TVS Racing and Rajiv Sethu of Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing completed a double apiece in contrasting styles. Ravikumar was in a league of his own with an authoritative win by the proverbial country mile in the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc

4O AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

race, his second of the weekend, while behind him, Amarnath Menon of Team Alisha Abdullah denied TVS Racing another 1-2 by pipping KY Ahamed. Sethu repeated his previous day Race 1 win over TVS Racing's Jagan Kumar for a double in the Pro-Stock 165cc class. After exchanging lead with Jagan through the race, Sethu made a heart-stopping pass on the last corner of the last lap to pull off a superb win while Ahamed scrambled to third spot. Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty of Ten10 Racing survived a close fight with

Mathan Kumar of Erula Racing to win the Pro-Stock 200-300cc race with Abhishek Vasudev, also from Bengaluru, a distant third. Also achieving a double was Abhimanyu Gautam of Sparks Racing in the Novice Stock 165cc class, sparing nearly three seconds to Venkatesan I of Team Motomania while Mohan Babu of Rockers Racing completed the podium. Meanwhile, defending champion in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, Ann Jennifer suffered a defeat as she finished third behind her Sparks Racing


NATL RACING S165cc Novice race2 winners

S165 class Abhimanyu Gautham in action Ladies class winners

team-mate Ryhana Bee and Alisha Abdullah (Team Alisha Abdullah) in the fivelap race. It was Bee's maiden win in the championship as she made capital of a favourable situation that had pole-sitter Jennifer fumbling at the start and then getting caught up in traffic. While Bee disappeared in the distance, Jennifer could not pass Alisha and decided to hold position with an eye on the championship points. Earlier on Day One, Deepak Ravikumar led a 1-2 finish

pole-sitter Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing, sealing the win in the last lap. Mathan Kumar also chalked up a last-gasp win over Aravind Balakrishnan (Ten10 Racing) in the Pro-Stock 200-300cc class that was run on a combined grid with the 301-400cc category while Bengaluru's Abhimanyu Gautam, starting from third on the 39-rider grid, topped the Stock 165cc (Novice) race which went down to the wire. Ravikumar, starting from pole, gradually increased his

Pro-Stock 301-400cc race 2 winners

Pro-Stock 201-300cc race2 winners

Pro-stock 165cc race 1 winners

Jagan, a seven-times National champion in the erstwhile Super Sport 165cc class, said: "I did my very best today and was on the limit, but just couldn't hold back Rajiv. The bike was ?ne and there were no issues. Today, this was the best I could do." for TVS Racing in the premium Pro-Stock 301400cc class, while Rajiv Sethu, fresh from an international outing in Japan, scored a thrilling win in the Pro-Stock 165cc category to bring some cheer for Honda. Starting from pole position, Ravikumar held off teammate KY Ahamed for a commanding win, while Sethu, who missed the first round in Coimbatore last month, fought tooth and nail to beat favourite and

lead over Ahamed and had plenty to spare at the finish. Amarnath Menon, who too sat out the first round last month, finished third in his debut race for Team Alisha Abdullah. The win was some consolation for Ravikumar who lost a third place battle in the Pro-Stock 165cc race to Bengaluru's Yashas RL (Ten10 Racing) behind Sethu and Jagan after some of the front-runners lost track position due to issues with their bikes. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 41


ONE MAKE RACE

CHENNAI

Venkatesan, Vivek Pillai dominate Nivetha Jessica wins girls race while Jehan Darukhanawala tops media class

V

ivek Pillai from Chennai dominated both the races in the TVS Open Apache RTR310. Race 1 was dominated by the Chennai riders as Vivek Pillai was the winner and he also clocked the fastest lap of the race, he was followed by Sivanesan Sethu with close to two seconds difference. Arun Muthukrishnan came third with a further difference of three seconds. Race 2 once again belonged to S Vivek Pillai with a total time of 16:01.298. He once again had the fastest lap time tag. Karthik Mateti from Hyderabad came second with a huge difference of 15 seconds. Soorya PM from Chennai with a further two seconds difference settled for third. In the TVS RTR 200 Novice class Venkatesan was on the pole. In the race one Venkatesan from Chennai with a total time of 13:16.007 was the winner, followed him in second was Manoj Y also from Chennai who was hardly 150 milliseconds behind despite clocking the fastest lap time of the race. Annish Samson from Bengaluru with a further eight seconds difference completed the podium by finishing third. In Race 2, it was once again Venkatesan finishing on top, he finished with still better timing than race one, he was once again followed by

42 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Manoj Y in second with a mere half a second difference and a fastest lap time tag. Lakshmipathy Balaji from Vellore with a difference of one second finished third. In the Ladies class, Apache RTR200 the 5 lap race was bagged by Nivetha Jessica from Chennai with a total time of 11:27.421. Lakiya Lee also from Chennai with a 35-second difference managed to finish in second position while Sayali Pawar from Mumbai a further 8 seconds behind finished third. The Media class belonged to Jehan Darukhanawala with a timing of 11:41.808 by clocking the fastest lap time, he was followed by Aadil Naik in second while Varun Painter finished third.


ONE MAKE RACE

CHENNAI

PHOTO BY: SRINIVASA KRISHNAN

Md Mikail underlines his potential Samuel Martin, Lal Nunsanga share honours in CBR 150 class

T

eenagers dominated the races and reduced the timings with smart racing on the Moto3 spec NSF 250R bikes and besides them, the CBR 150s, were also part of the Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, a onemake championship, which was held along with the second round of the National Championship at Chennai in July. The Debut race saw 14-year old from Chennai, Md Mikail underlined his potential with a win in the newlyintroduced Honda NSF 250R category. Varoon Sadasivam, also from Chennai, came in second ahead of another 14-year old local schoolboy Kavin Samaar Quintal. In the hot mid-afternoon sun Race 2, Chennai youngsters Varoon Sadasivam, Kavin Samaar Quintal and Geoffrey Emmanuel finished in that

order after favourites, Md Mikail (Chennai), winner of the debut race, and Kritik Vasant Habib (Gadag, Karnataka) retired early in the eight-lap race. Mikail crashed at the start, while Habib too went off in the third lap. Earlier the baby on the grid, Sarthak Shrikant Chavan, the 12-year old schoolboy from Pune qualified eighth in the NSF 250R class, with a flying lap of 02:01.753. It was his maiden outing in track racing after having won a junior motocross event recently. In the Honda CBR 150 Race 1, Samuel Martin from Bengaluru was the winner with a total timing of 13:18.138 he was followed by Lalrinzuala Tlau from Aizwal in second as Lal Nunsanga also from Aizwal in third. In race 2, Lal Nunsanga climbed two places up from the previous

race to be the winner Lalrinzuala Tlau finished second while Samuel Martin

the previous race winner had to settle for third position. CBR150 race 1 winners

NSF250 race2 winners

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 43


IGATPURI

Bopaiah wins the Off-Roader of the Year title The Coorgi overcomes challenge from 31 Great Escape winners to win a Mahindra Thar

A delighted Bopaiah said: "It is an honour and a dream come true. This is my 5th aempt at geing the Thar. I used my earlier experience to good use and corrected the small mistakes which I had done in the past to be crowned the Champion of champions.

B

opaiah Kongettira from Kodagu won the O ` ffRoader of the Year' title and a new Mahindra Thar 700 Limited Edition escaping victorious from the challenge held over two days on July 13 and 14 in the Off-Roading Trophy finals at Igatpuri. The best off-roaders from across the country took part in thecompetition against each other to battle for top honors. All the 31 winners from the ten Great Escape events across the country competed in the highprofile competition at Mahindra's 4x4 track at the

44 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Karumbaiah winner of Mahindra Thar


OFF-ROAD

Spotter inaction

Mahindra Adventure OffRoad Training Academy in Igatpuri. For a change, this year's event saw spotting points thus putting an end to the semifinals. The two-day event had no elimination, instead every driver had to clear the six speciallydesigned obstacles courses tackling different terrain like rocks and slush under different weather conditions. The participants tackled several challenging obstacles over the course of two days. Starting with The Gopher Dam, an obstacle where participants had to navigate through some tricky climbs and steep descents even as they are picking up flags and avoiding cones. The 35-feet climb obstacle was run simultaneously with the W501 Climb named after our upcoming secondgeneration Thar. In the second half of the day, the participants once again tackled two challenges, the Di 2.0 Challenge and the SUV Challenge 2.0. The Di 2.0 had a longer drive time for participants, where they drove up slushy climbs and at the same time navigated through specifically designed pits. It was here where throttle control played an integral part in the completion of the obstacle.

But the challenge did not end here. Attempting to get the Super Flag, which holds 20 points, the drivers had to get over a challenging climb riddled with ruts. Day 1 concluded with these four obstacles. On Day 2, the level of difficulty was taken to a notch higher. The Sarpanch Challenge with its strategically placed super flag was waiting to be conquered. Tackling the steep slush pit and the undulating climb, then the rocky section, it was almost close to impossible to get the super flag. It was also the deciding obstacle for the points table. The drivers who struggled and just managed to finish the obstacle moved up the ladder. This was a game changer and a decider along with the Blind Zone which was a fun, yet challenging obstacle that had everything from water fording to slushy inclines and steep descents. After two days of gruelling obstacles, Karnataka's Bopaiah emerged as the winner and won a Mahindra Thar 700, followed by Vipin Varghese from Wayanad and Alan K Abraham from Ernakulam, Kerala, who finished second and third respectively. In the ladies category, once again Sapna Gurukar was crowned the winner for the second year in a row.

Spotter running for next obstacle

Spotter directing on a downhill

Winners group photographs

Clearing the Flag SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 45


BENGALURU

Shahan Ali Mohsin stars Ishaan Madesh tops MicroMax class while Rishon, Mihir share Junior class honours PHOTO BY: SHAHJAHAN

Table leader Shahan said: "It was hectic with back to back rounds in a span of two days, but thanks to my team MSport for their efforts, we were able to solve our tyre degradation problem which I suffered in Round 2. I am glad we now have a comfortable points lead going into the ?nal round."

S

hahan Ali Mohsin of Agra had a fruitful end to Round 3 and 4 of 2019 JK Tyre FMSCI National Rotax Championship in style in the Senior category at Bengaluru's Meco Kartopia circuit in the first weekend of August. After kick-starting his 2019 season competing in Round 1 and Round 2 of the Rotax championship, Shahan had a solid Round 3 and Round 4 to extend his points lead. Heading into the third round, Shahan was only two points ahead of Manav Sharma but leaving the

46 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

weekend, he now has 12 points between him and Manav. In Round 3: Ishaan Madesh from Pergerine Racing clocked 12min, 25.032sec to win the Micro Max class. He was followed by Ranvir Singh from Birel Art with a 0.385 sec difference to finish second. Ranvir also clocked the fastest lap in 1:01.372. Jagrat Detroja, also from Pergerine Racing, with finished third a further 11.146sec behind. Anshul Sai Sivakumar & Augustine Boby finished in 4th & 5th respectively.

The 15-lap Junior Max class witnessed a very close finish between the top-four finishers. It was sweep by the Birel Art team which bagged all the three podium places. Rishon timed 14:06.573 for the win with a fastest lap (55.664) to boot followed by Mihir Avalakki in second position with a difference of 0.479 and Ruhaan Alva in third as he just missed the second position by an arm's distance with 0.535 sec deficit. Rohaan Madesh and Mohammed Ryan from Pergerine Racing and MSport


NATL KARTING

Ruhan Alva going past Mihir Avalakki Ishaan Madesh in the process to go past Ranvir Singh

finished fourth and fifth respectively. In the 18-lap Senior class, Shahan Ali Mohsin clocked 17:10.608 for a welldeserved win. The MSport driver beat his senior teammate Vishnu Prasad who finished second in 0.254 seconds behind. Vishnu clocked the fastest lap time in 55.686. Manav Sharma from Pergerine Racing a further 0.581 seconds behind finished third. Fourth and fifth positions were bagged by Amir Syed and Siddharth Mehdiratta in that order.

55.278. Ruhaan Alva finished third with a deficit of 2.130 with the leader. Rohaan Madesh and Mohammed Ryan finished in fourth and fifth places respectively. In the 18-lap Senior class race, Shahan Ali Mohsin from MSport timed 13:58.934 for his win and also clocked the best lap in 55.555sec. Manav Sharma was second a further 4.376sec behind. Yash Aradhya came third another 7.373 sec later. Vishnu Prasad and Siddharth Mehdiratta were fourth and fifth respectively.

Ruhan ahead of Manav Sharma

Mohd Ryan defending against Rohaan Madesh

In Round 4: Ishaan Madesh from Pergerine Racing clocked a total time of 10min, 13.062sec and also got the fastest lap while winning the Micro Max class. He was followed by Ranvir Singh from Birel Art in second with a 0.128-sec difference. Jagrat Detroja, also from Pergerine Racing, came third a further 9.312 seconds behind. Anshul Sai Sivakumar was fourth. The 15-lap Junior Max race witnessed a very close finish between the top four again. Rishon of Birel Art clocked 13:54.462 to win followed by Mihir Avalakki in second with a difference of 0.789sec. Mihir also clocked the fastest lap time of

Winners Group Photograph

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 47


COIMBATORE

Imran Pasha

conquers Rally of Coimbatore Badal Joshi, Venu Ramesh, Noldin Thomas win; Aishwarya tops PHOTO BY: VIKRAM SUNDARAMOORTHY

J

Imran Pasha bagged the top honours in the Rally of Coimbatore, the fourth round of the MRF MoGrip National Rally Championship held at Kethnur on the outskirts of 48 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

the city on August 25. Pasha from TVS Racing kept the flag flying high for his team in the absence of his Group A teammates including current leader Rajendra RE and Nataraj.

This class was not held due to technical and documentation issues. It was a testing time for the 58 competitors to take on the 56kms rough & dry stages. These regular stages

had ruts all over since they were used for the 4-wheeler INRC prior to this a few days back. However, it did not make much of a difference. Imran Pasha from TVS


NATL RALLY Racing claimed his first overall win in INRC with a total time of 52min 17sec. He was the fastest beating teammate Samuel Jacob with a difference of 21 seconds. Adnaan Ahmed, a privateer from Mangaluru, finished third a further 14 seconds behind. D Sachin and Kali Mohan, also from TVS Racing, finished in fourth & fifth positions respectively. Group 1A was bagged by Badal Doshi, a privateer from Mumbai, who clocked a total time of 55min 35 seconds. Jatin Jain from Nagpur followed him in second position with a difference of 36 seconds. In the C1 class, localite Venu Ramesh Kumar timed 56min 27 seconds to win the class and R Vignesh from Chennai came a faraway second taking six more minutes. In the C2 class, Noldin

Thomas from Kochi won with a total time of 59min 19seconds beating Azeeb Mohammed from Kottayam to second place. Azeeb took 51 seconds more while P Janardhanan from Bengaluru who was a further 25 seconds behind came third. Vikram Sekhar and M Srikanth followed them in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Amarendra Sathe pulled out in the final stage due to a mechanical failure and SP Devaraj was out in Stage 2. The winner of C3 class was K Sasikumar from Coimbatore as he timed 54min 48 seconds, a 14second lead over Ishan Chandra from Mangaluruv, who had to be content with a second place. Akshay Siddaramaiah from Bengaluru came third. Sathyaraj was fourth while J Durgesh finished fifth. Saravana Kumar & Karthik

Badal Doshi winner of Class 1A

Suhail Ahmed winner of Class C6

Group photograph of the winners

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 49


NATL RALLY

COIMBATORE

Syed Asif Ali winner of Scooter class

Sudeep Kottary winner of class 5

had to pull out due to mechanical failures. In the C4 class, J Imran Pasha from TVS Racing was the winner with a total time of 52min17sec, a difference of 21 seconds to his teammate Samuel Jacob who finished second. Adnaan Ahmed a further 14 seconds behind finished third. D Sachin and Kali Mohan, also from TVS Racing, finished in fourth and 5th positions respectively. Jeeva Rathinam pulled out in the second stage due to some mechanical issues. In the C5 class, Sudeep Kottary from Mangaluru won with a total time of 58min 13seconds, a good 90 seconds ahead of second-placed Mithun Gopal from Trivandrum. Vikram K from Coimbatore came third a further 29 seconds behind. Karthikeyan had to dropout in Stage 2. Suhail Ahmed from Bengaluru won the C6 class despite still being under recovery period after the crash in Dakshin Dare recently. He finished with a total time of 55min 50seconds. Arun Roy from Kochi with a difference of 1min 19seconds finished

K Sasi Kumar winner of class 3

Noldin Thomas winner of class 2

5O AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Rakesh Kumar winner of local boys class

second. Jeemon Anthony, also from Kochi, with a further 37 seconds difference settled for third. Richard Gladson and Sinan Francis finished fourth and fifth in that order. Saurabh from Kolkata was the only person who pulled out in the class as he had issues in the third stage. Syed Asif Ali from TVS Racing won C7 class clocking 57 min 31seconds followed by his teammate Shamim Khan in second with a difference of 69sec. A further 4 minutes away was Francis PV who settled for third. Pinkesh Thakkar finished fourth. In Class 8, Aishwarya Pissay from TVS Racing clocked 1min 48 seconds to win over Ryhane Bee who came behind after 5min 34seconds. Baishalinath from Assam came third. In the Star of Coimbatore class, Rakesh Kumar with a total time of 55min 21seconds was the winner followed by S Vishnu Prakash in second. Vishnu was 3min 36 seconds behind and Jaideep Joshi settled for third. Bala Chandar and Nitin Ravikumar were fourth and fifth respectively.


BAJA ARAGON

SPAIN

Aishwarya Pissay

finishes fifth in Spain Baja The Bengaluru rider takes lead in the World Cup Baja standings

"More importantly, I managed to maintain my lead in the World Cup standings. To prepare for the last round in Hungary, I am staying back in Spain for training so that I can perform beer and win the World Cup," said Aishwarya.

I

ndia's Aishwarya Pissay from Team Sherco TVS finished fifth in the women's category and 24th Overall in the Baja Aragnon, the penultimate round of the FIM Bajas World Cup. Bengaluru-based Aishwarya, sponsored by TVS, Sidvin, Mountain Dew, Scott Motorsports India, K&N, Cult Sport and BigRock Dirt Park, picked up 11 points after completing the 827Kms-long course. It helped her maintain the top position on the women's World Cup leader

board. Going into the final round in Hungary (Aug 10-11), the 23year old Indian enjoys a sevenpoint lead over Portugal's Rita Vieira (45 points) with Spaniard Sara Garcia Alvarez (36) in third spot. Aishwarya is also placed second in the Junior category, trailing Chilean Tomas de Gavardo by 19 points. "Baja Aragnon was the scene of my big crash last year that put me out of action for over six months. So, I was determined to shrug off those bitter memories and complete the

course, which I did. It was a very technical course and I lost lot of time in the process. I definitely need to train more in order to get faster in the technical sections. But I'm happy of my progress from last year and crossing finish line on a strong note. "More importantly, I managed to maintain my lead in the World Cup standings. To prepare for the last round in Hungary, I am staying back in Spain for training so that I can perform better and win the World Cup," said Aishwarya.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 51


GOA

Gurmeet Virdi, Chetan Changappa, RFC champions The victorious duo will represent India at the RFC Global Series ďŹ nale in Malaysia

52 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019


OFF-ROAD

A

fter a week-long gruelling off-roading action in some of the areas which experienced heavy rain, Gurmeet Virdi from Chandigarh and codriver Chetan Changappa from Coorg emerged as the ultimate champions of RFC India 2019. They have won the sixth season of India's toughest international off-road motorsport competition with a total score of 2182 points out of 2600. As the RFC India 2019 Champions, Gurmeet and Chetan will represent India at the RFC 2019 Global Series Grand Finale at Malaysia. Having won RFC India twice before in earlier years, Gurmeet Virdi had paired up this year with Chetan Changappa who was the codriver for the winner of RFC India in 2018. This proved to be a winning competition for one of the toughest & closely-contested editions of RFC India so far, with unrelenting heavy rain and only a few points separating the top teams on each day. Gurmeet had to wait for

three full days till the end of the 13th stage, to reach top position. Till Day 3 Dr Chaitanya Challa held on to the initial lead. Though the lead was not much, Gurmeet was desperate to be on top of the table. He improved his points from the 14th stage and thereon, there was no looking back for him. The major setback was for Dr Chaitanya, all the three stages from 14th to 16th never went on well for him and, he had a DNF in the ďŹ nal stage. So from the top,

he slipped down to 6th position. Anand V Manjooran and Vishnu Raj from Kerala with a penalty of 2038 ďŹ nished second. They were running fourth till the third day and the completion of 14th stage. Thereon they climbed to second position and retained the same. Chow Ujjal Namshum and Chow Sujeewan Chowtang from Arunachal Pradesh clinched the third spot with 1962 points. They were steady in 6th position till

Dr. Chaitanya & Amrut overall 5th

Overall winners Gurmeet and Chetan

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 53


GOA

Overall 3rd Ujjal and Sujeewan Bijender and Gajender

Then they steadily moved up to 5th by the end of the 16th stage with Dhaliwal, who was behind by 50 points on him. By the end of the 21ststage they reached 3rd position with a gain of 59 points. There on they held on to their position till the end. N Abinav Reddy & Shabarish Jagarapu from Telengana were in the fourth spot with 1919 points. They were running 5th by the third day and the end of 13th stage with a difference of 40 points on the leader. They were in the same position till the final day before they managed to climb one position up. Meanwhile, Dr Chaitanya Challa and Amrut Kadam also from Telengana, secured a spot in the topfive with 1913 points. After staying at the top till the third day they slipped to sixth position, & on the final day they managed to climb a position and finished 5th. Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal and Gurpratap Singh Sandhu stood sixth with 1875 points. They were running 3rd till the end of the 13th stage with 991 points. They slipped down to 4th by the 16th stage, and on the final day they further slided 54 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

down to 6th. The pair of Gurmeet Virdi and Chetan Changappa were the fastest in 12 out of the total 26 stages. Right from Stage 1 up to stage 22, they were very consistent. Dr Chaitanya Challa and Amrut Kadam were fastest in four stages, the 4th, 11th, 23rd and 24th. Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal and Gurpratap Singh Sandhu also recorded the fastest timing in four stages (5,7,12 and 21). Six different teams clocked the fastest timing in the sixth stage. In up to 1610cc petrol or diesel class, Gurmeet Virdi and Chetan Changappa were the winners followed by Anand V Manjooran and Vishnuraj in second position and the 3rd place was bagged by Chow Ujjal Namshum and Chow Sujeewan Chowtang from Arunachal Pradesh. In 1611 to 3010cc Diesel class, Venkat Devineni and Mahender Reddy were the winners as Sam Kurian Kalariackal and Abraham Paulson finished second. The pair of Daulat Deepram Choudhary and Sayba Gameti settled for third position. In 1611-3010cc Petrol class, Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal and

Overall 2nd Anand and Vishnu

Overall 3rd Ujjal and Sujeewan

Overall 2nd Anand and Vishnu


OFF-ROAD

Shemy and Koyan

Merwyn and Tan

Daulat and Sayba

1611 to 3010 petrol class 1st runner-up Lokesh and Rohith

Gurpratap Singh Sandhu dominated the class followed by Lokesh Shivaraj and Rohith KR in second position while Sushant Saini and Gurinder Singh stood third. In above 3010cc Diesel class, Rajasekhara Prabhu and Daljit Singh, the lone participants, were declared the winners. In the above 3010cc Petrol class, Sameer Chunawala and Dushyant Khosla won edging out Kabir Waraich and Amritpal Singh to

Kabir and Amritpal

second. Shemy Mustafa and Koyan Althani MJ ďŹ nished third. The prize distribution ceremony was held at The Fern Kadamba in the presence of Vijay Sardesai, MLA of Goa, Anup Abraham (Head-Marketing Communications, Isuzu Motors) and Ashish Gupta (Founder & Director, Cougar Motorsport). The other key awards that were announced included the Lifetime Achievement Award to Gurmeet Virdi for having won RFC India three times as well as having secured a podium ďŹ nish at the RFC Grand Finale in Malaysia. The Team Spirit Award went to BODA, the Most Unique 4X4 Award to Gurmeet Virdi for the rear wheel steering in his vehicle, the Environment Award to Eric Benny, the Best Service Team Award to RIAT Off-roaders Samrala and the Team Award to MOCA Arunachal Pradesh. The 'Rookie of the Event' award went to Manjunath S, while Pai Dukle and his co-driver Sarabpreet Sandhu got the honour for their brilliant performance on their debut this year. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019 AUTO TRACK 55


CHENNAI

PHOTO BY: ANAND PHILAR / SHAHJAHAN

Double for

Arjun Balu, Rithvik Thomas O

"I enjoyed a good lead through the race until the Safety Car period. We all bunched up behind the Safety Car, and I played it safe before crossing the ?nish line," said Sohil who has taken a "gap year" after completing 12th standard.

n a day which began in heavy showers and ended in bright sunshine, Coimbatore veteran Arjun Balu of Race Concepts team from Bengaluru, completed a grand double in the Indian Touring Cars class to head the leader board after the fourth round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship in Chennai on August 18. Also achieving a double was Bengaluru's Rithvik Thomas, also of Race Concepts, in the Super Stock category. However, the 10-car pile-up in the MRF F1600 race overshadowed the

56 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

day's proceedings. The race which started under heavy showers lasted barely 300 metres. Pole-sitter Yash Aradhya spun in the very first corner when he put wheels into a puddle and lost the grip. The cars behind him crashed into one another dangerously resulting in the abandonment of the race. Thankfully, none of the drivers suffered injuries barring cuts and bruises but with 10 cars badly damaged, it was decided to cancel all the scheduled three races. `T̀he next round in September, will have 7 MRF F1600 races. It was an unfortunate incident

with Yash running into a puddle and spinning. With so many cars badly damaged, we decided to put off today's three races and have them in the next round," said Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok. In Race-1 of the ITC category, that was declared w ` et', Balu and Patel were locked in a thrilling fight. Starting from pole, Balu maintained his position with Patel in close attendance. Three laps from the finish, Patel moved past Balu, but slipped back to second in the next lap when he ran wide at the last corner. Balu moved to the front and went


NATL RACING commanding lead was under the Safety Car which came out following an incident on Lap 5. As the Safety Car came in on the

last lap, Sohil, rolled his car over the finish line ahead of Chennai's Sandeep Kumar and Manav Sharma of Faridabad.

ITC class action

on to win. In Race-2, run in fair weather and reverse grid, the three VW Ventos of Patel, Dhruv Shivaji Mohite and Ishaan Dodhiwala, switched to slicks, while Balu, starting eighth, remained on wet tyres. It was not long before the four moved to the front with Mohite pulling off a fine win ahead of Patel and Balu. The third race in this category, was a virtual procession with Balu, starting from pole, winning comfortably and unchallenged, followed by Patel and Dodhiwala. His two wins this weekend, took Balu's tally to 148, way ahead of Mohite (119). Spearheading a podium sweep for Race Concepts team, Sudanand Daniel, an airline pilot based in Singapore, won a dramatic wet first race in the Super Stock category for his maiden success of the season, with Rithvik Thomas and R Rajashekar in tow. RP Rajaran (Performance Racing) took the honours in Race-2 ahead of Rithvik Thomas and Daniel. In the next outing, Thomas survived a close fight with Daniel for his second win of the weekend. Rajarajan

completed the podium. Sohil wins: Earlier on Saturday, Bengaluru teenager Sohil Shah made the best of the poleposition start to notch his third win in a row in the premier MRF F1600 category and head the leader board. The day began late owing to the morning rains. Sohil won the last two races in the previous round in July. The finish to the six-lap race which Sohil dominated while enjoying a

ITC class winners

Raghul Rangasamy during formation lap

Sohil Shah in action

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 57


NATL RACING

CHENNAI

S

Saurav Bandyopadhyay leads Ameo class The Mumbai racer shares honours with Jeet Jhabakh and Prateek Sonawane

58 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

aurav Bandyopadhyay, Jeet Jhabakh of Hyderabad & Pune's Prateek Sonawane won a race apiece in the Volkswagen Ameo Class category that was held with the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship at Chennai in August. After eight races over three rounds this season, Mumbai's Saurav Bandyopadhyay, who won the first race, is leading the Ameo Cup championship with 305 points. Sidharth Mehdiratta from Lucknow, who had two podiums, a second and a third during the weekend, is in the second position on the table with 298 points and is closely followed by and Sonawane bridged the gap with a victory and a third place could only manage 294 points. He is currently in the third place with one more round to be held on September 14 and 15. In the 8-lap Race 2, Jeet clocked 20 minutes, 9.577 seconds for a comfortable victory over Aiman Sadat of Bangladesh (20:12.811).

Aiman kept aside the challenge of Siddharth Mehdiratta of Lucknow who fell in arrears by half a second and could only finish third. With heavy overnight rains and continuous drizzle on Sunday morning, all the drivers had wet tyres for the first race which was declared a wet race. Fortunately, the sun came out and in Race-3, also over 8 laps, it was Prateek Sonawane of Pune who won with a time of 16:00.024. All the drivers switched over to slicks and Sidharth Mehdiratta managed a second this time, coming a little over a second behind the winner. Shobhomoy Ball of Bengaluru clocked 16:06.481 for the third place. In the first race on Saturday, Saurav Bandyopadhyay took the honours clocking 11:38.169. He took the lead and increased it for a comfortable victory over Shubhomoy Ball who was more than four seconds behind him. Pratik Sonawane, who challenged Ball for some time, had to be content with a third place.


TSD RALLY

CHANDIGARH

Gurmeet Virdi wins

Dribjot Singh claims 2WD class while Shamsheer Rana tops women's class

T

rail Blazing is a new concept in motoring and driving fun, wherein the challenge is to find one's own route. At the start, each participant is given a map of about 30 or 40 points, spread all around on July 7. The scoring and map guidance was done by C̀lueRace', an app that runs on the competitor's smart phone and it automatically marks his visit to the clue

points when you reach within 10 to 20 metres of the point. Thus many points were created by the organising team which were not on the road or the track but slightly away from it. To reach people had to step out of their vehicles and walk or run to the location while keeping a keen eye out on the map with the marker point being displayed on app screen.

The competitors have to decide which points to go for and then using onscreen maps work out the best route that they could take. It does sound easy but in practise it is difficult enough and very challenging. Apart from the maximum time allowed, beyond which one gets disqualified, competitors should also keep a watch on the speed and should not exceed 45km per hour. Speeding

penalties were also applied automatically by the app. It keeps overall safety of the participants in check. In the 4WD class. Gurmeet Virdi was the winner followed by Harmanpreet in second as Nur Jagman settled for third. In the 2WD class, Dribjot Singh was the winner followed by Ravdeep in second and Puneet Nangli in third. The women's class was won by Shamsheer Rana.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 59


CHENNAI

Pro Stock165cc Race 2 Rajiv Sethu and Ahamed KY PHOTO BY: ANAND PHILAR / SRINIVASA KRISHNAN

Rajiv Sethu makes it four wins in a row Double for Anish Shetty, Venkatesan; Ryhana triumphs in Girls' race

R

ajiv Sethu of Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing showed why he is arguably India's top racing rider at the moment by scrambling to a heartstopping win, his fourth in a row, in the Pro-Stock 165cc class, as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship concluded at the MMRT, near Chennai on August 4. KY Ahamed brought some cheer for TVS Racing on a day dominated by Honda as he topped the premier 3016O AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

400cc class by a comfortable margin to move within three points of his team-mate Deepak Ravikumar (101 points) on the leader board. Ravikumar ďŹ nished third behind Saturday's Race-1 winner, Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing). Also hogging the limelight were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty (Ten10 Racing) and Chennai's Venkatesan I (Moto Maniacz Racing) who both achieved a double this weekend in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc and Novice (Stock 165cc) categories,

respectively. Ryhana Bee (Sparks Racing), also from Chennai, took the honours

Pro Stock 301 to 400cc Race 1 winners

in the Girls race. Venkatesan, also won 2 more races in the one-make championship.


NATL RACING Pro Stock 165cc Race 1 winners

Sethu, who is growing in stature with each outing, scored a double in the previous round too. He held off a late-charging KY Ahamed from TVS Racing, despite a bad start and issues with his bike, as the duo crossed the finish line in close formation within one-hundredth of a second between them. Sethu's fellow-international, Sarath Kumar, completed the podium. The victory took Sethu to the top of the leader board with 100 points, ahead of Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing (94) and Sarath Kumar (93). The Honda ace, who again failed to capitalise on a pole-position start, yielded ground to seven-times National champion Jagan Kumar who was quick off the grid from third position and built up a commanding lead. However, in the third of the eight-lap race, Jagan retired due to engine issues and Sethu forged to the front with Ahamed hot on

his heels. The pair fought tooth and nail and were almost inseparable at the finish line. Anish Shetty, in notching his third win in a row, cemented his position at the top of the championship in his category with 90 points. Shetty again led a 1-2-3 finish for his team like yesterday with Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan in tow in order. Chennai's Ryhana Bee from Sparks Racing, with the win, her second in three rounds, took a sizeable lead in the championship with 68 points. Defending champion and team-mate Ann Jennifer crashed in the last of the five laps after Ryhana overtook her. Alisha Abdullah from Alishaa Racing was second followed by private entrant Nivetha Jessica who is now second on the leader board with 42 points ahead of Ann Jennifer (40) with two more rounds to be run in the coming weeks.

Pro Stock 165cc Race 2 winners

Stock 165cc Novice Race 1 winners

Ladies class winners

Prostock 301to 400 Race2 winners

Pro Stock 301 to 400cc Race1 Rahil Shetty, Ahamed KY, Deepak Ravikumar

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 61


ONE MAKE RACING

CHENNAI

PHOTO BY: SRINIVASA KRISHNAN

15 year old Mikail sparkles

M

d Mikail, the 15year old from Chennai, won both the races, riding the FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R in the Honda India Talent Cup, putting in a hot lap of 01:47.974, in the process. The Talent Cup was held as part of the National Motorcycle Racing Championship. In Race 1, Md Mikail notched up a facile win with a total time of 11:04.391 opening a big gap with Varoon Sadasivam, also from Chennai, who came in second after 8 seconds. Kritik Vasant Habib, from Gadag in Karnataka, settled for third with less than a second difference. In Race 2, Md Mikail once again dominated with a total time of 14:48.615 defeating Kritik Vasant Habib who finished second a further three seconds behind. Kavin Samaar Quintal, also from Chennai, missed the second by a 62 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

fraction of a second. He came third with a very narrow difference of 0.300 seconds. CBR 150 Novice class: Race 1 was one of the closestfought battles, as all the top-three finishers were in the same second. Lal Nunsanga from Aizwal with a total time of 13min, 16.118sec was the winner followed by Samuel Martin from Bengaluru in second position with a very close finish of a wheel length of about 0.100 seconds. S Deepak Kumar from Chennai came third also in the same second, with a difference of 0.300 of a second. Race 2, also saw a very close fight between the top two. Samuel Martin won the race clocking 13:15.112 followed by the previous race winner Lal Nunsanga in second with a very close gap of 0.100th of a second. S Deepak Kumar, a further three seconds behind, finished 3rd.

CBR 150 Race 1 winners

NSF 250 Race 1 winners


ONE MAKE RACING

CHENNAI

S Kannan, Aravind Ganesh win a race each Venkatesan wins both Novice races; Nivetha Jessica tops girls class

I

n Race 1 of the TVS Open RR 310, all the winners were from Chennai. S Kannan bagged the top honours with a total time of 11:54.079 defeating Soorya PM by a difference of 8 seconds while Aravind Ganesh R came third behind him in a fraction of a second. In Race 2, Aravind Ganesh was the winner clocking 16:06.657 pipping Karthik Mateti from Hyderabad by a millisecond, the difference being one-fifth of a second. Anup Kumar from Chennai a further 0.300 second behind finished third. The OneMake races were held as part of the National Motorcycle Racing Championship. Novice RTR 200: Venkatesan I dominated the Novice class winning both the races. In Race 1, in a closely-fought battle, the

rider from Chennai timed 13:24.694 to win followed by Lakshmipathy Balaji from Vellore who fell in deficit by a mere 0.400 milliseconds. Ullas Santrupt Nanda from Bengaluru came a further 0.300sec later to finish third. Race 2 also belonged to Venkatesan who clocked 13:12.481 this time for his win. He was followed by Lokesh V from Bengaluru in second with a difference of eight seconds and Alwin Sundar from Chennai in third with had a photo finish loss with the second-placed Lokesh. Girls RTR 200: The five-lap race was won by Nivetha Jessica from Chennai. She clocked a time of 11:30.986 followed by Lani Zena Fernandez from Pondicherry, just an arm's length behind. Lakiya Lee Charles from Chennai, came third, a further one second behind. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 63


GOA

Super Show By Kia Motors’ new SUV Seltos Text: Ashok Kumar Tiwari with inputs from SM Boothem

A

nother Korean car maker makes a grand entry into Indian markets. We had an opportunity to test drive the new Kia Seltos and come back impressed with its performance.

64 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Kia Motors, world's eighth largest automaker first showcased it as an SP concept at the Auto Expo in 2018. It is fully loaded with technologically oriented features in terms of design, comfort, space and luxury.

The design team has put in a lot of efforts while making the new Seltos as per Indian customers choices and also suitable for Indian road conditions. It has been tested in all conditions across the country before

the official launch. The Kia team has scored in all areas and made a successful mark in its first product to Indian markets. The manufacturing facility in Anantapur, has capacity to produce 3,00,000 cars annually.


REVIEW The long awaited Kia Motors first product for India, the new Seltos is a big hit with the Indian customers for its superlative performance. We got our hands on the all new KIA Seltos in the drivers experience programme oraganised by KIA Motors recently in Goa. The raindrenched curvy roads and the hilly terrain, the KIA Seltos makes it effortless to drive and negotiate the turns with. The Seltos comes with two styles the Tech line and the GT Line, each branching further into various trims with varied characteristics. The GT line looks more appealing for its sporty guise of the SUV as it is loaded with Crystal cut alloys, sporty red cues and the GT Line badge making the difference, the red brake calliper gives it the sporty look. We focussed our attention mainly on the 1.5L diesel and the much sought-after 1.4L Turbo Petrol versions. Also spent time driving 7 DCT, 6 manual and the CVT boxes. All the three engines are BS6 complaint with a choice of four transmissions on offer. The 115 hp 1.5L NA petrol, 115 hp 1.5L diesel and a 140 hp 1.4L turbo petrol mills sum up the engine chart, while there are also 6-speed manual, IVT, 4speed torque converter and a 7 speed dual clutch boxes on offer as well. The engines are all BS6 compliant.

· Sunroof:

Let's talk about the 1.5 Diesel with 6 manual first. The diesel is quite refined to drive. There comes in a decent bump in power at around 1800 rpm, but in a very linear manner. Thus this is one user-friendly car to drive. The road noise too, is well contained. The 6speed manual gearbox is very smooth and precise in operation. The body roll is well contained, as we had very less opportunity to check on this as most of the roads were water logged due to heavy rains. The 1.4 Turbo petrol GT Line with the 7 speed DCT is the one the enthusiast in you would crave to be in. The entire 140 hp can be seen doing its job proficiently.

· Ventilated & Power Seats:

The 7 DCT shifts are thrilling and spontaneous in the general sense. A single rotary knob does both the job of selection and control of the Drive and Traction mode. The drive mode selector offers three main driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport, listed in the increasing order of thrill they impart on the driver. The couple of selectable traction options, that let you get better grips on mild terrains like mud, wet/snow and sand. However we got an opportunity to try these a slight test and thus took the car for a slight hill ascent at the Hill top. As expected, the system does give you decent traction

· Leather wrapped Steering:

and grip on mild terrains. It can, of course, be driven on slightly slippery inclines with ease. The braking, in general, is very effective and efficient, with the GT line getting all-wheel Disc brakes. The brakes have ample bite and offer minimal judder. The suspension has been well-tuned and set even on the Turbo petrol. There is an ample amount of head and knee rooms in both the front and rear rows. The low speed-pot-hole absorption deserves appreciation. The Tiger-Nose grille manifests the SUV's capabilities and adds up to the appealing look of the vehicle. The positioning of the DRLs and headlights of

· 10.25” HD Touchscreen:

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 65


REVIEW

GOA

the Seltos makes it look classy and easier to drive. The front seats are perfect places to be in, thanks to the supportive, well cushioned ventilated seats. The rear seats offer good leg, knee, head and shoulder rooms. There are a decent 433 litres of boot space and lots of inside storage space, adding to the convenience. The rear seats can also be folded in the 60:40 fashion if needed. The front armrest, however, is not reach-adjustable. There is also a wireless charging deck on the front centre tunnel. The plastic used is indeed premium and mostly soft. The leather-wrapped steering

wheel seems quite appealing and convenient, owing to its flat-bottom design and the great grip on offer. Smart Pure Air is one of the essentials to be experienced. The central 10.25-inch touch-screen infotainment system seems to be much promising and convenient with its decent touch-response and userfriendly layout. The Sound Mood lamps are part both, while the spec trims get a 400W, 8 speaker Bose Sound system that provides for an unmatched theatrelike audio experience inside the cabin, while the lower trims go with one from Arkamys. While the car is eSIM based it can

· Smart Pure Air:

· RPM / Speedometer:

66 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

implement a bunch of functions like remote START/STOP, Geo-fencing, Time fencing etc, through the UVO Connect app, which is available on both Apple App Store and Google Playstore. The UVO connect option with the built-in eSIM hosts around 37 smart features, many of which as India-specific. There are dedicated controls for instant Helpline dialling, the use of which gets you connected to a 24X7 direct assistance line, that can provide you with all critical aids and services required. There is also a dedicated voice command system inside, that works quite well · Blind view monitor:

for almost all common commands. The car gets other interesting bits like a smart electric sunroof, Tire pressure monitor, a 360 degree camera, blind spot monitor, ventilated power seats, rear mechanical sunblinds, rain-sensing wipers, etc add to the comfort and convenience inside. The HUD provides the driver with all essential information like the speed, Navigation info and even the current status of the infotainment system. Overall, it is a complete package from Kia Motors. The success story of Seltos and the new products will help strengthen Kia's presence in Indian markets. · Traction option:


LAUNCH

MUMBAI

sturdy, compact, roomy and modular, versatile vehicle which also achieves the feat of accommodating one to seven adults in comfort in less than 4 meters. The new product is the result of a complete analysis of customers' expectations in India which offers unbeatable flexibility. It has the largest boot capacity of its category, in five-seater configuration.

RENAULT'S NEW TRIBER R

enault, the number one European brand in India, launched its all new game changer, Renault TRIBER at an attractive starting price of Rs. 4.95 lakhs. It will be available in four trims. The new Triber has been specifically designed for the Indian market and will offer an unmatched value proposition to customers looking at a B-segment car. It is a spacious, ultramodular, fuel-efficient vehicle with attractive interiors which boasts of many modern and practical features in less than 4 meters. "With the launch of Renault Triber, we will enter the largest and the fastest growing segment of the Indian automobile market. Renault Triber will reinvent the game in terms of space

and modularity, targeted at a wide set of customers across segments, led by the B-segment. With its attractive pricing, Renault Triber is the perfect fit for Indian customers, who place a high premium on value proposition, in a car purchase decision. We foresee Renault Triber to be a key part of our expansion plans in India, as we look forward to growing the Renault brand in this diverse and exciting automotive market," said Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director, Renault India Operations. It is part of Renault's product offensive strategy, which is developed keeping in mind the mid-term objective of doubling the sales volume to 200,000 units annually in India. Renault's product strategy is

backed by its widespread network of over 350 sales and 264 service facilities across the country, offering outstanding sales and service quality. Renault aims to double its network reach by the mid-term. It also has a robust strategy to build its presence in rural markets, which offers significant growth potential. This is a new avenue that Renault is aggressively pursuing with an innovative and comprehensive strategy. In September, the company will kick-start an activity targeting 330 rural towns across 18 states that will be completed this year. The dealership teams have recruited specialized sales consultants to reach out to unrepresented rural markets. The new Triber is an attractively designed,

"Innovation is a key pillar of Renault's business strategy in India. This is reflected by a clear product strategy to cater to newer and growing segments of India's automotive market. Renault Triber is another testament to Renault's focus on innovation. With a unique body-style that cannot be classified into a simple category, Renault Triber will bridge the gap between Kwid and Renault's SUV offerings in India. Renault will continue its innovation journey in India, developing products that shape the future of India's automobile transformation," added Mr. Mamillapalle. Renault Triber will be offered in four trims – RXE, RXL, RXT & RXZ. Each version is built keeping in view the customer requirements and needs in the segment. This customer centricity extends further in pricing of each version – providing more value and being aggressive versus the competition. Each version is smartly priced at a gap of Rs.50,000, providing customers a valuable advantage at every level. Renault TRIBER can comfortably accommodate one to seven people with ultra-modularity and unique luggage-space flexibility in under 4 meters. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 67


MUMBAI

ON A GROWTH PATH TEXT: S M BOOTHEM

G

S Caltex India, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of GS Caltex Corporation, South Korea in a strategic move to establish itself as a major player in the premium lubricants category in the Indian markets is taking number of initiatives to push the brand and company's growth. The company recently roped in cricketer Shikhar Dhawan as Brand Ambassador to take the GS Caltex Brand across the 68 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

country. As part of the association, Dhawan will be the face of GS Caltex India's premium lubricants range and new business initiatives in India. This new association will help the company to boost its market share and further expansion in Indian markets. Speaking about the importance of this strategic alliance, Mr. Rajesh Nagar, MD & CEO, GS Caltex India Pvt. Ltd. said, “It's a perfect match in more ways than one, especially since both Shikhar and GS Caltex are

Smart Performers and setting new benchmarks in their respective fields. GS Caltex stands for smart technology, premium quality and smart performance, qualities that are embodied by Shikhar on the cricket field. He is an aggressive and flamboyant player and his success as a cricketer in both the international and domestic circuits mirror the qualities of our premium performance-oriented product offerings. We are

delighted to welcome Shikhar to the GS Caltex family and hope to maintain a long and significant relationship with him.”The company is currently doing business in high quality premium lubricants manufactured from its own Group II plus base oils imported from its Yeosu Refinery, South Korea. The company's operations are all over India with warehouses at key locations to service the distributors and other customers. It also


ADVERTORIAL

expanded into other businesses like Polymers, Polypropylene and other petrochemicals. The company supplies its products to major OEMs – Hyundai Motors, Volvo

Construction Equipment, Volvo Trucks and Buses, Hyundai Construction, Kohler, Doosan, JSW Steel, Sona Koyo, GTL, Ajax and Ammann, Puzzolana. The products vary from

“I am extremely delighted and proud to be a part of the GS Caltex family. GS Caltex is a well-established name in the lubricant industry and globally recognized brand for its high-performance products. I look forward to an exciting innings together”, said Shikhar Dhawan about the collaboration.

Motorcycle oils, Passenger car oils, Diesel engine oils, Premium Multigrade Gear oils, Greases and Industrial products to name a few. The client list has continued to expand with supply of its quality and new range of products. Mr. K Madhu Mohan, GM-Marketing, GS Caltex India Pvt. Ltd further added, “We are happy to have Shikhar onboard as our new brand ambassador. Shikhar joining the GS Caltex family is a great way to increase significant brand consideration by establishing superiorperformance and premium quality of our lubricants. With his explosive and power packed performances on the cricket field, we believe Shikhar personifies our core value proposition of Smart Technology for Smart Performance. We are sure that. Our association with Shikhar is significant and would further enhance our engagement with our consumers across the country.”

PRODUCT LANDMARKS 1.Ranked first in the Korean finished lubricant products market based on market share and sales volume. 2. Awarded most valuable brand 3 years in a row by Korea First Brands Awards, 3.Exporting to more than 50 countries, GS Caltex has emerged as a world-class lubricants products manufacturer. 4. GS Caltex has expanded its base oil production to 26,000 barrels per day through revamping its Base Oil plant in 2011. 5. GS Caltex produces 9,000 barrels per day of lubricants and 8,000 MTA of grease products. 6. GS Caltex uses latest hydrocracking technology to product high quality environmentfriendly base oil. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 69


JAIPUR

Mayank Chopra, Chirag Thakur

win overall honours

Gaurav Bambi and Rajit top Open class while Gagan Mehta and Kashish claim Couples section

T

he three-day annual TSD Rally, the Toyota Rally Of Jaypore, powered by Apollo Tyres was held at Jaipur recently. The event is known for its hard tracks which includes sand, gravel and tarmac for its loops where most of the competitors had lost way and missed a hefty number of TCs. Later on many lost their way in the barren desert too. The rally became more challenging with rain pouring throughout affecting the visibility and the slippery tracks resulted in competitors losing

72 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

control over their vehicles. Overall Winners: The pair of Mayank Chopra and Chirag Thakur driving a Toyota Fortuner were the winners with a total penalty of 25:53. Vinod Singh and Neerav Mehta driving a Maruti Gypsy finished second with a penalty of 44:57. This pair was running first till the final leg with a good amount of lead but 31:44 penalties in the final leg proved costly for them and they slipped down. Gaurav Bambi and Rajit Purushothaman also driving a Maruti Gypsy finished third with 48:28 penalties.

Also on the podium with a 7-second difference was the pair of Deepak Sachdeva and Japjyot Singh Dingra in fourth position. Jeevan Singh Dadval and Adithya Anthony who were running in second position till the end of Leg 2 and third in the final leg added about 39;36 penalties to slip down to fifth spot with 54:46 penalties. Earlier, Day 1 was flagged off from Hotel KK Royal in Amer with Leg 1 running a total of 70 km. The SSS1 terrain consisted of loose sand and sand dunes in Chandwaji, where many

struggled to finish through the extreme stage. This was followed by SS1, later in evening on a mixture of sandy, and gravel tracks of Kukas, finishing later in the midnight at the hotel. Leg 2 was of 225 km consisting of riverbeds, sand, gravel and tarmac near Achrol and Ramgarh, followed by SSS at Amarsar Dunes with tricky twist turns and climbing of dunes which made it challenging for the competitors. Tricky loops and the drizzling rain made the timings and competition tough. The rally also crossed a jungle for


TSD RALLY

Winners all women team

about 10 km of the rocky section. Later on it finished at the hotel. Leg 3 stages were 225 km consisting of a mixture of sand, gravel and riverbed tracks in Amarsar and Reengus. The winners of SSS were Devendra Singh and Manish Saini followed by Rajesh Saini and Rahul Singh in second while Deepak Sachdeva and Japjyot Singh finished third. Mayank Chopra and Chirag Thakur won the Pro-Open class followed by Jeevan Singh and Aditya Anthony in second and Vinod Singh and Nirav Mehta settled for third. In the Rally-Prep Open class, Gaurav Bambi and Rajit won the class beating Devendra Singh and Manish Saini to

second position while Raja Singh and Bhanu Singh came third. In the Luxury class, Deepak Sachdeva and Japjyot Singh were the winners followed by Varun Jolly and Prakash in second position. Jyotinder Singh and Amandeep finished third. The Amateur class was dominated by Yuvraj Singh and Vikram Singh who beat Abhishek and Kailash to second while Rahul Bedi and Akhil finished third. In the Couple class, Gagan Mehta and Kashish won edging Romil Choudhary and Ranu Sharma to second and Harsh Singh and Pinkee Tamra to third position. Tania Dua nd Ritu Mehta won the all-woman's tag. Team trophy was bagged by Team Bowfass.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 73


BENGALURU

Gaurav Gill-Musa Sherif conquer

Dakshin Dare again

Sanjay wins bikes category; Harpreet Bawa, Vikram Thakur from Team Harjee win 4WD class

T

he 11th edition of Dakshin Dare was flagged off from Bengaluru and finished in Hubli covering around 2000 kms over 4 days. Of the 20 cars and 30 bikes which started the stages spread across Chitradurga and Yellapura, only 15 cars and 24 bikes reached the finish. Team Mahindra and Team Harjee Motorsport were the major players.

2WD T1: Gaurav Gill along with Musa Sherif from Team Mahindra, driving a XUV 500, were the overall winners clocking a total time of 4 hours, 51 minutes and 49 seconds for a 74 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

comfortable lead of over 9 minutes over second-placed Anil Wadia and co-driver Somayya from Team Harjee, driving a Maruti Gypsy. While Harvinder Bhola and co-driver Chirag Thakur, also from Team Harjee, further 3 minutes behind, settled for third. In the above 1851cc, Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif won the class followed by their teammates from Mahindra Adventure, Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik, in second with a difference of 45 minutes. Their third teammates Philippos Matthai and PVS Murthy also had to dropout. In upto 1850cc, Jagbir

Winners Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif


CROSS COUNTRY

Sanjay Bike class winner

Nirwani and KPS Mattu, the lone contenders were declared winners.

4WD T1: In above 1851 cc, Harpreet Bawa and Vikram Thakur from Team Harjee won the class with total time of 5:08.52 while Amanpreet Ahulwalia and Virendar Kashyap had to pull out on Day3. In upto 1850cc class, Anil Wadia and AG Somayya from Team Harjee were the winners in a time of 5:00.37. Vinay Tantuway and Vikas Singh came a far-away second 35 minutes behind the winners. The upto 1400cc class saw the pair of Himanshu Arora and Kunal Kashyap from

Team Harjee who clocked a time of 5:07.21 came on top of the Upto 1400cc class and were followed by Rohit Pathania and Rajat Kumar in second with a further difference of 30 minutes while Sanjay Razdan and Karan Aukta came third a further 3 minutes behind.

4WD T2: Debajyothinath and Soumen Mondal with a total time of 5;28.34 were the winners followed by Anil Abbas and Sekar in second position with a difference of 50 minutes., Punyabrata Barma and Chandansen came third a further 18 minutes behind the secondplaced drivers. In upto 1400cc class,

Harvinder Bhola and Chirag Thakur won with a total time of 5:03.46 followed by Harkrishan Wadia and Venu Ramesh Kumar, a further 9 minutes behind, in second.

Ultimate Bikes: The upto 600cc class wholly belonged to Sanjay from Team Harjee who dominated the rally right from the start and won with a total time of 4:20.50. Naresh VS, a privateer with a difference of close to 6 minutes, finished second. Another Team Harjee rider, Vishwas SD, came third a further 5 minutes behind. Jatin Jain, a privateer, came fourth missing the podium by just 12 seconds. In Group B upto 165cc class,

Winners Group photograph

Shoeb Khan, a Privateer, won in 4hrs, 51min, 13sec followed by Vinay Prasad from Team Harjee with a difference of 58 seconds in second position. Manmeet Dhanjal came third a further 13 minutes behind. In Group B 166cc to 260cc class, Abrar, another privateer, with a total time of 5:48.28 was the winner as the remaining three participants failed to finish for different reasons. Adnaan Ahamed from Team Harjee had to drop out due to mechanical issues while Yuva Kumar and Sathya Raj despite being in top-three had to discontinue due to technical issues. In Group B 261 to 400cc class, Neeraj Samarth, a privateer, defeated Uday Ganguli clocking a time of 5:11.36. Uday came second finishing after 2 minutes while Prabhu Chandra took a further 3 minutes more and had to settle for third. In the Bullet class, Richard Gladson won with a total time of 4:54.59. Hero Sen came second with a further difference of 56 min while Sumesh Reddiar came third another 10 minutes behind. In the Scooter class, the lone participant Heikrujam Singh, a privateer, who clocked a time of 7:02.59 was declared the winner. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 75


COIMBATORE

Badal Doshi hogs limelight Azeeb, Yuva Kumar, Adnaan, Sudeep top other classes; Apoorva triumphant in the Ladies class

B

adal S Doshi was at his best in the third round of the Sprint National Championship held at Sankari near Erode recently. He clocked the fastest timing of 6 minutes, 12 seconds on the 6.35-km track on the dirt surface. A total of ten classes were run on the 11-km route with 79 entries. In Group A upto 800cc class, Badal Doshi defeated Vishwas SD for the Group A win with a difference of 10 seconds. Venu Ramesh 76 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

Kumar from Coimbatore a further 15 seconds behind in third behind Vishwas. Jeevan Gowthalli with a further difference of 10 seconds stood fourth and Jatin Jain was fifth a further second behind. In Group B upto 130cc class, Azeeb Muhammed won with a total time of 6.46 followed by Noldin Thomas in second a further three seconds behind. Janardhan P was another 3 seconds in deficit and settled for 3rd. Rakesh Kumar and Varun Kumar finished in fourth

Ishan Chandra 1st runner-up 166 to 260cc class

Yuva Kumar in action

Joseph Jinu winner scooter class


SPRINT Yuva Kumar winner 131 to 165cc

Sudeep Kottary winner 261 to 400cc

and fifth in that order. The Group B 131 to 165cc class, was won by Yuva Kumar, who clocked a time of 6.12. Ishan Chandra with a three-second deficit came second while Vinay Prasad a further ten seconds behind came third. Sudeep Kottary was fourth as he took 8 more seconds and his teammate Adnaan Ahamed stood fifth. In Group B 166 to 260cc class, Adnaan Ahamed with a time of 6.27 was the winner followed by Ishan Chandra in second position as he had a difference of 12 seconds. Sinan Francis, was a further 20 seconds away to take the third place. Shoeb Mohamed Khan and Sanjay Somashekar were fourth and fifth respectively. In the Group B 261 to 400cc class, Sudeep Kottary clocked 7.05 to win the class beating Samarth to second as he was way behind with a 34-second deficit. Sajeesh Reghunanthan with a further difference of 20 seconds stood third. Apoorva won the Ladies class clocking a time of 8.20. Scooter Class was bagged by Joseph Jinu by clocking 7.25. Badal S Doshi secured his second podium with a

difference of 13 seconds on the leader while Karthik N a further 7 seconds behind came third. Pinkesh Thakkar finished fourth and Goutham N stood fifth. K Sasikumar won the Star of Tamil Nadu class with a timing of 6.29. Rakesh Kumar P came second with a difference of 3 seconds, Saravanan Kumar had a tie on the same timing but was placed third. G Tamilselvam and Elango K shared the fourth and fifth position in that order. The Star of Kerala class was bagged by Sinan Francis who timed 6.47. Sajeesh Reghunathan took second place as he came 21 seconds behind and Arun Joy M, a further difference 10 seconds behind was third. Akash Raju and Joseph Jinu took the fourth and fifth positions respectively. In the Bullet class, Devraj Venkatesh won clocking 6.38 as he edged past Rakesh Kumar V who was second, as he finished a second behind. Arun Joy M came third with eight more seconds difference to Rakesh. Varun SS finished fourth while Sreekanth Koman settled for fifth.

Sudeep Kottary in action

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 77


KERALA

GRAND DEBUT The new racing league kick-starts in Kerala TEXT: S.M.BOOTHEM

A

fter successful league formats of different sports – from cricket to kabaddi to motorsports, the latest to join the league, CBL, this time the competition on the water. The country's first such water sport following the steps of the successful IPL cricket format. To boost tourism and encourage the traditional boat racing of the State of Kerala, the Champions Boat League

78 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

(CBL) was flagged off by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala's famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race got an added feature this year with the new CBL. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was present at the inaugural ceremony. Nine CBL snake-boats raced ahead with rhythmic rows of oarsmen cheered by an enthusiastic crowd along the banks of the sprawling Punnamada lake in this

coastal city, splashing blue waters in a spirited competition. Organised by Kerala Tourism, the CBL features 12 rounds of races slated across Saturdays till November 23. The CM hailed the pioneering boat league as an event that reinforces the spirit of unity among people. "True, you compete each other with your boats. But at the end of the day, it is all about harmonious relationship

between us human beings," he noted. CBL marks the turn of a new leaf in the history of Kerala's boatraces. "I have led teams where the players' number totals 16, while it is around 100 in a boat race! That requires tremendous understanding between the members and skills of coordination from the part of the captain," said Tendulkar. Hailing the gender equality seen in the


CHAMPIONS BOAT LEAGUE

boat-races, "I see a lot of women rowing the boats here. It's very encouraging. Women are not just to manage kitchen. A healthy woman at home means a healthy family. That happens only when you venture out of your home and bond well with the public at large", added Tendulkar. The CBL's inauguration was marked by water adventure sports that included jet ski

yboard and paragliding. Earlier, Tendulkar took a round of the starting point on a boat that had over a dozen Kathakali artistes dancing in colourful costume. Ten select TV channels beamed the live action of the races. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran hailed the CBL as an eminent product that will help the state brighten its four months of off-season

from June marked by monsoon rains. "Tourism provides Kerala with 10 per cent of its GDP. We plan to raise the sector's contribution to 13 per cent in a couple of years," he added. Kerala Finance Minister T M Isaac Thomas noted that three years have gone into the conception of the CBL for the boat league to eventually roll out. "Today, if you see a new wave of professionalism and

spirit in the races, it is courtesy the CBL," he said. "The government is sure this championship will earn international attention." Kerala Tourism Secretary Rani George said the CBL is hopeful of conducting auctions that will earn the event new owners who can run the teams more effectively. "Already, CBL is a government-owned company," she pointed out. Kerala Tourism is getting

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 79


INDORE

Subir and Nirav win overall honours Asgar-Musthafa claim Explorer class; Sharvik-Adithya top above-1600 Expert class

T

he MalwaTimeSpeed-Distance (TSD) rally, received 57 entries and was agged off from the Cresent Resort, near Indore. Leg 1 started on Saturday from the Cresent Resort and the route was through the Jungles of Shivni and Bagli to reach Punjapura. Later traversing through the forests of Udainagar and Katkut, the Rally went to Nachanbor crossing various water streams and slushy areas, which were particularly needed for the

82 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

4x4 Track. After Climbing the Ghats, Leg 1 consisting of 225kms ended near the Resort in Indore. The same day, Night Leg started at 9.00pm. It was a short leg of 50kms but a tough one with a lot of navigational challenges. The rains in the evening on the same day made the track, a drivers' delight. Leg 3, started at 9.00am on Sunday. Again this was a long Leg of 235kms which went in a different direction toward Mhow and Choral areas. The Steep Climb of

Deogarh Hill made the 4x4 track challenging. The rally ended at a Special Section, a 4-km track completely sanitised at Natrax, near Pithampur area. Wrangler 4X4: Tania Dua Khosla and Ritu Mehta won the Ladies class. In the Amateur class, Darshinder Kholi and Mohit Malik were the winners followed by Idris Burhani and Huzefa Kunwarji in second and Rais Ahmed Khan and Mahir Ahmed Khan in third. In the Couple class, the lone

contenders Ritesh Mamodiya and Rinku Mamodiya were declared winners. In the above-1600cc Expert class, Sharvik Shah and Adithya Anthony won the class edging out Ruchit Jadhaw and Aditya Garg to second spot. Varun Patil and V Sekar completed the podium in third. In the upto-1600cc Expert class, Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta won the class followed by Ziyauddin Ahmed and Chirag Thakur in second position. Mohd Kaif Khan


TSD RALLY and Prakash M finished third. Explorer class: In the Explorer class, AK Asgar Ali and MK Mohd Musthafa were the winners and Subhodev Chatterjee and Saptarshi Basu came second. Rajesh Kumar Saini and Shailendra Singh finished third. In the Women's category, Parul Verma and Reshma Motwani were the winners. The pair of Neeta Ganesh Manjrekar and Priyanka Sawant finished second followed by Neerja Pathania and Pratibha Anand in third. The Car class for Amateurs belonged to Dipankar Dutta and Savita Reddy. In the Car class for Professionals, SK Asgar Ali and MK Mohd Musthafa were the winners beating the pair of Sahil Khanna and Rajit Kadian. Devendra Singh Rathore and Vijendra Rathore won the Couple class. Amit Kasliwal and Shikha Kasliwal settled for second and Supraneet Maru and

Archana Maru finished third. In the SUV Amateur class, Navneet Patel and Shashank Mehta were the winners followed by Arvind Saluja and Vinay Bafna in second. The pair of Satpal Singh Saluja and Aditya Vashishtha came third. In the SUV Pro class, Subhodev Chatterjee and Saptarshi Basu bagged the top honours. Rajesh Kumar Saini along with Shailendra Singh settled for second position and Chaitanya Lunia along with Pulkit Dua finished third. Overall Category: Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta were the winners followed by Ziyauddin Ahmed and Chirag Thakur in second position. Sharvik Shah and Adithya Anthony came third to complete the podium. In the best-stage performance, it was Deepak Sachdeva and Japjyot Singh Dhingra who won the top place followed Mohd Kaif Khan and Prakash M.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 83


OFF-ROAD

GOA

Ajith, Dattaraj win 19 SUVs takeup 4 technical and challenging obstacles

T

he 163rd edition of the Mahindra Great Escape Off-Roading Trophy successfully concluded in Goa under the Mahindra Adventure umbrella. The 19 vehicles

84 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

from the Mahindra stable participated in the coveted Off-Roading Trophy in the four challenging and technical obstacles that concluded on August 26 in Goa. The participants were

flagged from Regenta Resorts, Varca Beach on August 24. Goa is known for its budding off-road clubs and the growing off-road enthusiasts and the OffRoading Trophy was a

perfect platform to test both the man and the machine. The event saw Mahindra vehicles take on a number of difficult obstacles during the 'Trophy Round'. From tackling slippery inclines and descents to navigating over rocks and crossing streams, it put both the drivers and their machines to the ultimate test. Ajith Kumar won the Modified category, Dattaraj Lawande finished first in the stock category and Maithili Bhobe was the winner of the ladies category. The winners will get a paid trip to compete in the Off-Roading Trophy 2019 finals at Igatpuri. The MGE was conceptualized in 1996 as a noncompetitive, off-road event meant to encourage Mahindra customers to test the strength & performance of their vehicles on tough terrains.


GYMKHANA

INDONESIA

Shivani, first woman

to represent India in Gymkhana event Team India finishes a creditable overall fourth, Bronze for Indian doubles pair

T

he three-member Indian team bagged a creditable overall fourth place in the first round of the Asia Auto Gymkhana championship 2019 which concluded at Yogyakarta in Indonesia on 14 July.

from 11 countries and competed with 39 other drivers for top honours.The trio managed to come out

on to the top-4 brushing aside a stiff challenge from other countries including some strong contingents

from Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea, and the host country Indonesia. All the competitors were on an identical race-prepared Toyota Agyas (aka Wigo in the Philippines) on multiple gymkhana course layouts in a knock-out format.Sahil Khanna was placed fourth in the Solo overall category while the Indian team also managed to take the third place in the doubles category. Shivani, a 21-year old from Davangere town in Karnataka, who became the first Indian woman to represent India in a Gymkhana event said: "I'm very lucky enough that I have got an opportunity to represent India. No other feeling in the world can match the thrill and pride of representing one's country. Holding up the Tricolour high on foreign soil is a dream come true and I will cherish this forever." Actually, this is the second time Shivani is representing the country abroad. As an active NCC cadet, she had an opportunity to go abroad to Singapore ICEP in 2014 and now motorsport has taken her to Indonesia.

Representing the FMSCI, the Indians came out triumphant reaching the semifinals in the overall championship and took the podium for fourth place. The team consisting of Shivani Pruthvi of Davangere, Sahil Khanna, and Karan Malik (both Delhi) performed well against some strong teams SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 85


RACING

CHENNAI

Night sessions at MMRT, a first in India

Madras Motor Sports Club starts efforts to provide another dimension to motor racing in India

N

ight Racing in India was held for the first time successfully at the Madras Motor Sports Club on a trail basis on August 7. The night session was conducted in a fullfledged racing environment with temporary floodlight towers in place at select locations, besides Marshals manning the posts around the circuit and other safety precautions. The four-hour floodlit test session, the first of its kind

in India, attracted over 100 participants, a clutch of "super cars", including a Rolls Royce Phantom, firsttimers and battle-hardened professional racing drivers in the fully-prepared racing cars and all of whom gave the initiative a thumbs-up. The first-timers were all excited at the rare opportunity to drive on the track at pace in the night. The professionals, like former Formula 1 racer Karun Chandhok, Aditya

Patel, Chetan Korada, Arfath Mohammed, Karthik Tharani, Ishaan Dodhiwala and ex-rally driver Ranjit Ballal suggested improvements in the lighting while hailing MMSC's efforts to provide another dimension to motor racing in India. Karun Chandhok, who had raced at night at Le Mans and F1 testing in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, said: “I think what they (the MMSC) have done is very good. We

should do more of these events as they will whet the appetite of the people for the sport. I did a few laps here tonight.”

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 87


RIDE

BENGALURU

A decade of expressing freedom,

the bikers' style

Over 300 bikers take part in Independence Day ride

T

he 11th edition of the annual Independence Day Ride which attracted over 300 bikes headed in a convoy towards Devarayana Durga Hills about 70kms from Bengaluru. Earlier, the event used to run toward Nandi Hills which is also at a distance of about 70kms from Bengaluru. The ride was without the registration process and anybody with an RD 350 was free to join the ride. The assembling point for the start was Nelamangala toll gate. In the presence of the veteran member of the biking community, 84year-old R Chakravarthy, who had inspired many 88 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

riders in his hey days. After the start headed towards the Hills, he too accompanied the convoy in a four-wheeler as his health never permitted a ride. The riders, after close to 90 minutes of riding, passing through the Tumkur Highway took a right deviation towards the hills. Bikes were parked and displayed, then everyone assembled at the stage for the National Anthem. After paying tributes to the martyrs with two minutes of silence. Then every one got to hear some positive and motivational words from the speakers and the guest of honor, along with the other senior bikers who shared their experience and road

safety tips to make all the aspirant bikers aware and

more responsible while they are on road.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 00


NATL KARTING

BENGALURU

Shahan wins PHOTO BY: SHAHJAHAN

A

gra's Shahan Ali Mohsin continued his golden run in Indian motorsports, winning the 2019 JK-Tyre FMSCI National Karting Championship here on August 25. Sitting on a pretty lead at the start of the fifth and final round, young Shahan, of team MSport, drove safely to grab the third position in the pre-finals and the second in the finals to garner 52 points. It was enough to swell his tally to 435 for a comfortable win in the Senior Max category. His teammate Amir Sayed from Kothagiri, Tamil Nadu, too collected 50 points but that left him way behind with 398 points. The third position was taken by Faridabad's Manav Sharma

of Peregrine Racing team, with 339 points. Another MSport driver, Vishnu Prasad of Chennai, who entered the fray only in Round 3, was the star of the day, winning both the day's races. He had to be content with the fourth position in the championship though. In the Junior Max category too, MSport reigned supreme again with Mohammed Ryan of Chennai topping the charts with a total of 402 points. He too had an ordinary day, picking up just 49 points with two fourth-place finishes. Bengaluru's Rohaan Madesh of Peregrine Racing took the third position in the prefinals but slipped to the eighth place in the finals to settle for 45 points. It gave

him a total of 392 championship points, missing the crown by just 10 points. Abhay M of Birel Art won the third position overall. In the Micro Max, Bengaluru school boy Ishaan Madesh of Peregrine Racing, maintained his unbeaten

run through the season as he won the last two races too. He took the title with a comfortable 30-point lead. Equally consistent is Jagrat Detroja (Morbi, Gujarat; Peregrine) and local boy Anshul Sai Shivakumar (Birel) who took second and third positions respectively.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 89


SPRINT

JAIPUR

Aabhishek Mishra, Deepak Sachdeva claim top honours Keshavi Chahar fastest woman; The Summer Edition of Rally Sprint 2019 attracts 80 entries

T

he Summer edition of the Rally Sprint 2019 held at Moto Sport Park in Achrol concluded recently in Jaipur. The oneday event attracted 80 entrants who tested their skills on a 3km track. Aabhishek Mishra from Jaipur won the Fastest 2wheel drive cars and Fastest Lap award by setting a time of 240 seconds in his Sparky's Garage-prepared Rally Esteem. He was followed by Rajesh Saini and Vishal Kataria in second and third positions respectively. The flamboyant Deepak Sachdeva won the overall

90 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

4WD position in his Jeep Wrangler followed by Daksh Gill in his Subaru Forester. The Gypsy King Amanpreet Ahluwalia followed in 3rd position. Fastest 3 Woman drivers of the event were defending champion Keshavi Chahar followed by Amandeep Kaur Jubbal and Asha Malik who impressed on her first outing in motorsport. Rajesh Saini bagged the overall amateur prize followed by Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary in second and Deependra Singh finished third. The team trophy was bagged by CK Motorsports.


TSD RALLY

RANCHI

Ali Ajgar-Mustafa clinch Somdev-Chandan, Ritwick-Dr Vijay win other classes; Ujjwal-Ravi claim Amateur SUV class

T

he 6th Wild Adventure Rally was organised in Ranchi in the TSD format. A total of 40 cars with 120 competitors took part in the rally which was held on the Independence day. There were four ladies teams which also included one Army team. The major participation of over 20 teams were from Jharkand. Leg 1 of the rally was flagged off from Ranchi on Day 1 at 12 noon with the cars rallying down through interesting and scenic locales of the State of Jharkhand to Madhuban (Parasnath) for a night halt. Leg 2 of the rally was flagged off from Madhuban on the next day and went to Khandoli Lake and after stopping at Giridih for lunch, it ended at Madhuban for a night halt.

The 3rd and the final leg of the rally was flagged off from Madhuban (Parasnath) and ended at Luguburu with the prize distribution at Patratu and the Rally Ball Dinner at Khelgaon, Ranchi. Ali SK Ajgar along with Mohammed Mustafa won the War Car category with a total of 6 points followed with 11 points by Jaiswal Jogendra and Nagarajan T who came second. The pair of Gopalkrishnan Satish and Sharon David came third with 18 points. The War SUV category was bagged by Somdeb Chanda and Chandan Sen with a total of 12 points. Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta with 18 points finished second and the pair of Major Euthica and Parashare Capt Tejal came third with 23 points. In the Jharkand Professional

SUV class, Ritwick Singh and Dr Vijay Kumar Mishra with 29 points were the winners followed by Ankit Agarwal and Pulkit Jain with 35 points in second. The pair of Gaurav Maroo and Aditya Modi with 39 points were third.

The Jharkand Amateur SUV class was won by Ujjwal Murarka and Ravi Murarka with 6 points while Pranay Modi and Luv Kumar with 10 points came second. Saurabh Choudhary and Dhiraj Bhanka finished third with 12 points.

Ali Ajgar and Mustafa enroute

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 91


INTL RACING

NEW YORK

Mahindra wraps

Formula E season with a win and 2 podiums The Indian outfit finished 6th recording two fastest laps, one pole and 7 Super Poles

A

fter another highly-competitive season, Mahindra Racing has wrapped up the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a double-header race weekend in New York City in mid-July. Pascal Wehrlein and Jérôme D'Ambrosio were in action as teams took to the track for the final time in Season 5. Saturday saw Pascal score his sixth Super Pole appearance of the season and secure himself a front row start from second. Jérôme had an unfortunate spin in qualifying, which put him at the back of the grid. The race saw both Mahindra Racing M5Electro's finish in the points after a chaotic 45 minutes. Pascal struggled for pace and brought the

92 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

#94 home in seventh, collecting six championship points. Jérôme made a fantastic comeback, picking his way through the field and avoiding several incidents to finish in ninth place, picking up two points. A more frustrating day on Sunday saw Jérôme and Pascal qualify in 16th and 18th respectively, starting in the mid-pack on the grid. They began to work their way up the order through the 45minute race and took the final chequered flag of the season just outside of the points, with Jérôme finishing 11th and Pascal in 13th. Mahindra Racing finished the 2018-19 Formula E season in sixth place in the Team's Championship. Jérôme D'Ambrosio was 11th in the Driver's title, with Pascal in 12th.


INTL RACING

CHENNAI

Yash Aradhya

claims first Formula4 podium With a clean defensive drive, the Bengaluru driver finishes 2ndin Race 1

Y

ash Aradhya, who had recently debuted in the FIA Formula-4 South East Asia, claimed his 1stpodium in the Round 5 of the championship held at the Madras Motorsports Race Track, Chennai. Yash qualified 2nd with a time of 1min38:881sec at the 3.7km circuit and started Race-1 from P2. Yash had a good start and held his position intact though he had pressure from the Ireland driver Lucca Allen. Yash with his good defensive skill and a clean drive finished 2nd in the race covering 13 laps in 21:40:799. Further in Race-2, which was a reverse grid of the Race-1, Yash started from 8th and with a fantastic start moved to 3rd position by the end of 1stlap. He then

pulled himself away from the rest of the grid to catch the leaders in the front. Then the safety car lap brought all the cars closer, where Yash saw an opportunity to attack the front runners after the safety car lap. But he continued to hold for the rest of the race and finished 3rd covering 11 laps in 19:01:220. In Race-3, which was the reverse grid of Race-2, Yash started 5th as against 6th since Ireland driver Lucca had a penalty and moved down. With a great start, Yash made two positions by corner 1 and finished the race at 3rd, Yash was later imposed a 20-second penalty for a racing incident with the Indian driver Sneha Sharma. Then Yash moved to 7th position.

For Race-4, the line-up of the grid was based on the 2nd best qualifying lap and Yash started 3rd on the grid. In an overtaking

manouevre, Yash had a racing incident at Corner-3 and lost control of the car. Thus he had to be content with a 7th-place finish.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 93


RIDE

MUMBAI

MONSOON RIDE TEXT: SM BOOTHEM

W

e took the new Hero Destini 125 scooter in the monsoon and rode it in and around the Mumbai streets. We also visited a couple of Ganesh pandals on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. The rainfall this year in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai has been more than average, even if they started late in July. The city faced flooding on the railway tracks. The motorists had a tough time in commuting due to bad roads caused by heavy rains. Hero's new Destini 125 opened the gates for new opportunities for Hero Motocorp in the 125cc 94 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

premium segment and was well received by the customers for its features to benefit the riders community (the company is well known for its motorcycles). It is also the first and only scooter in India to feature the highly efficient idle start-stopsystem – based on Hero's revolutionary i3S technology. The Destini's success also helped the company to introduce new products in the scooters segment to further strengthen its market share. The gearless scooters are playing a major role in terms of volumes. In recent times, the 125cc segment is growing fast in the premium segment. There are many

players currently offering products -- Honda, TVS and Suzuki. Talking about the ride, inspite of rough and tough roads of Mumbai, worsened due to heavy rains, the Destini ride was smooth,

safe and effortless. The scooter was sturdy on the slippery roads. Overall, it was a fun ride on these challenging roads on the Destini 125, and the scooter safely took us to our 'destination'.


AUTOMOTIVE

NEWS

Benelli launches Leoncino On a mission to set a higher pace for Benelli in India, Adishwar Auto Ride India is all set to introduce some of latest and globally renowned Benelli superbikes in the Indian market. Benelli has more than 100 years of

legendary history and no machine in its line-up exemplifies this emotionally historic passion better than Benelli's all new Leoncino, launched at Rs. 4.79 lakh (Exshowroom, India).

TVS Eurogrip launched TVS Srichakra Limited, a 2 & 3-wheeler tyre company, launched in August its brand T̀VS Eurogrip' targeted at meeting the needs of the millennial customers. TVS Eurogrip is born out of extensive consumer research and significant investments in

global R&D, design and technology platforms. As part of its evolution and to associate itself with youthfulness and high performance, TVS Eurogrip is designed with global expertise, made in India and sold across the globe.

Jaguar in Bengaluru Jaguar Land Rover India announced the opening of its new showroom by Marqland at Cunningham Road in Bengaluru. The new facility

was inaugurated by Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Limited and Naveen Philip, Director, Marqland.

Audi's Virtual Reality Audi, the German luxury car manufacturer, has put the pedal to the metal in the field of technology, completely integrating the car of tomorrow into the digital world of the

customer today. With the Virtual Reality solution, customers can get an extremely realistic experience of their individually configured car, down to the last detail.

AMW-CFmoto cruises into India AMW Motorcycles in association with CFmoto, has announced the muchawaited launch of the year for the die-heart bike enthusiasts. AMW Motorcycles launched four models of CFmoto in India.

The models of CFMoto motorcycles launched are the 300NK, the 650NK, the 650MT and the 650GT. The bikes were unveiled today amidst grand fanfare in presence of a host of dignitaries. SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019AUTO TRACK 95


AUTOMOTIVE

NEWS

st RTR 200 Fi E100, India's 1Ethanol-based bike

TVS Motor Company, manufacturer of twowheelers and three-wheelers, launched India's first Ethanol based motorcycle, TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100 in July. Nitin Jairam Gadkari,

Minister for Road Transport and Highways launched the bike in Bengaluru and Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, and Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor Company, were present.

Mahindra's 1 millionth vehicle Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M Limited), recently crossed a significant milestone, a release on July 9, as it rolled out the 1 millionth vehicle from each of its 3 automotive manufacturing plants in

Chakan, Zaheerabad and Haridwar. With this, the automotive manufacturing facilities in these three locations joined the 1 million club along with the company's Nashik and Kandivali plants

Honda 2Wheelers to empower women To support young women's dreams of becoming commercial pilots, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India

Private Limited announced a project in July. It is S̀apno ki Udaan', a unique CSR initiative to empower women.

Honda 2Wheelers, Castrol tie-up Taking a step further to delight the ever-growing family of over 40 million happy customers, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India joined hands with Castrol,

India's leading automotive and industrial lubricant manufacturing company and Honda will endorse a new range of Castrol Activ lubricants launched

GeeKay's e-Bikes Comforting the modern world with some amazing variety of e-bicycles, GeeKay Bikes launched three e-bicycles in India with some fascinating 96 AUTO TRACK SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2019

features at the 10th India's No. 1 Bicycle, Fitness, Sports and Electric Vehicles Expo-2019, held at Manpho Convention Center, Bengaluru.


What’s next? SEPTEMBER MRF RACING

4W INRC

JK RACING

ONE MAKE

A close battle will decide the 4W national champion

The only north Indian round in INRC 2019, Jodhpur

Raghul & Vishnu, who will secure their 2019 national title?

Final round for the TVS & Honda 2W One make Championship

OCTOBER SUPERCROSS

DRAG

INAC

GYMKHANA

2W National Supercross resumes after a long gap

MMSC Drag Racing Championship + th 5 Edition of VROOM

The qualifiers for the 4W INAC kicks in with a new promoter

The new upcoming sport in India, gets a championship this year


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