GREATER NOIDA: The chill, the wind and a sprinkling of rain made the final round of the JK Tyre Racing Championship quite an enthralling experience. Even for the motley crowd gathered here to witness some of the best drivers on the national circuit in action here on Saturday, there was action on the tracks right from the word go. The revving engines and the deafening decibels turned on the heat in the Buddh International Circuit as drivers vied for a place on the podium with fervid enthusiasm.
What is motorsport without crashes and smashed cars? In fact, the day began with a crash – a three-car pileup that rendered a car useless with broken windows and dented sides. It was after lunch that Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad stole the thunder during the JK Racing India Series (FB02, formerly known as Formula BMW). Though Armaan Ebrahim, a guest driver here, raced past him in the fourth lap to beat him to the chequered flag, Vishnu was all poised to secure top spot as the rest of the field was quite far behind in motorsport parlance.
“It was a close fight and we (Armaan and I) managed to open up quite a sizeable lead,” said Vishnu after the race. But for him, this doesn’t mean much. “I have won the championship last year and even now I am pretty sure I will be winning it, but then it comes to nothing in terms of exposure. I have been driving in India for close to a decade now. I need to go out and start experiencing the races abroad. But then in motorsport if you don’t have the money, one cannot do much.”
“Hopefully, next year I will get some sponsors,” said Vishnu. “JK, of course, will be my primary sponsor but we are in talks with a couple of other sponsors to help me find a place in circuits abroad. If I do well in the Formula 3 testing, it would be very nice. Let’s see what happens. Otherwise I will head into the dreaded almost six-month break,” he said with a chuckle. With this win, the defending champion of the JK India Racing Series extended his championship lead in the points table to 18. Anant Shanmugam, who was lying in fourth place with 37 points before the final round, improved his standings by finishing in second place more than 10 seconds behind Prasad.
In Race 1 of the Volkswagen Polo R Cup, where the crash took place, Karthik Tharani took the top honours, keeping alive his chances of winning the championship. In Formula LGB F4, championship leader Diljith TS had a pretty smooth ride on a wet track.