The Junior Max category final got off to an interesting start with Kush Maini (Team Maini Racing), Krishnaraj Mahadik (Team Mohites Racing) and Abhirath Shetty (Team Meco Racing) taking the top three spots at the starting grid. As the lead pack began to tear off from the rest, a bunch up during closing laps of the race turned the tables and Surya Raguram (Team Meco Racing) made the best of it by sneaking in at number 2 followed by Kush at number 3, however the undisputed leader was Krishnaraj who got home with a lead of over 10 seconds. Krishnaraj’s consistent performance puts him on top of the table at the end of the first round with 55 points followed by Kush (50 points) and Surya (52 points).
Talking after finishing the finals, Krishnaraj Mahadik said, “It has been a very satisfying weekend for me right from the qualifiers to the finals. Being the first round of the season, I hope to maintain this form through the remainder of the season as well.”
The Micro Max category was undoubtedly the most closely fought battle, the starting grid had Pradyumn V Danigond (Team Mohites Racing), Mira Kirit Erda (Team Maini Racing) and Phaneesh HB (Team Mohites Racing) occupying the first three spots, however a brief incident in the first lap led to Phaneesh being unable to take any further part in the race. However the race resumed with Pradyumn and Mira biting at each others’ heels all through the race and trading leadership positions for 3 consecutive laps. In the closing laps of the race Mira turned up the heat by clocking the fastest lap time at 46.368 seconds, but Pradyumn eventually got the better of Mira, but just by a margin of 0.221 seconds followed by Mrinal Chatterjee (Team Rayo Racing). At 27.5 Pradyumn tops the round followed by Mira and Mrinal with 26 and 25 points respectively.
Pradyumn V Danigond said, “It was a very tough race but I also enjoyed it a lot, and if this is a sign of the season to come, I really look forward to the remaining season.”
The last race of the day, the Senior Max category was packed with surprises and some outstanding performances. Ameya Bafna (Team Rayo Racing), Gaurav Davare (Team Rayo Racing) and Mithun Ganatra (Team Mohites Racing) started from the top positions, however an error in the opening lap caused Ameya to spin off which saw him reeling at the last place only to make a good comeback and finishing the race at 7th position. The remainder of the race saw Gaurav retaining the top spot till an incident between Anshuman Chatterjee (Team Rayo Racing) and Mithun allowed Raj Ganatra (Team Rayo Racing) to occupy the top spot which he held on to till the end. Mithun followed Raj at the second spot followed by Vishnu Prasad (Team Meco Racing) at third. The constant improvement through the weekend earned Raj 55 points and the top spot, followed by Mithun (52 points) and Gaurav (48 points).
Speaking after his victory Raj Ganatra said, “I have had a very interesting weekend, having finished 5th at qualifying yesterday, I dipped to the 8th spot in Heat 1 but came back to number 3 in Heat 2. Having started at number 5 in the final and finishing first has given me immense pleasure and tremendous confidence going in to the second round next month.”
The prizes were given away to the winners by veteran rallyist Iqbal Patni, while Team Mohites Racing was awarded the ‘Best Team’ award for the Micro Max and Junior Max categories, Team Rayo Racing got it for the Senior Max category. The crescendo built at the first round of the JK Tyre Rotax Max National Karting Championship will resume with Round 2 scheduled next month, where all the teams would be back again to put their best wheels forward!
About JK Tyre Motorsports
JK Tyre has always been closely associated with the world of sports. Almost three decades back the company laid down a long term and sustained approach to promote Motorsport. Participating in this form of the sport has helped the company in continuously updating its products to meet the challenges of gruelling Indian conditions. The sport at that time in India was perceived for elite but JK Tyre took upon itself to package and redesign the sport to suit the masses. The company not only made the sport affordable but also equivalent to International operating standards. JK Tyre’s foray into Motorsport was a well thought out strategic decision to not only use and develop this virgin branding platform but also to realize the dreams of making India a force in the field of motor sport.
In 2011, the company acquired the Formula BMW Series and rechristened it as the JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS). With this acquisition, JK Tyre created history in Indian Motorsport by becoming the first Indian company to acquire an FIA accredited series. The series has to its credit of producing as many as six of the current Formula One drivers, including reigning two- time champion Sebastian Vettel. By taking over the series, JK Tyre promises to utilize it as a platform to encourage and support the world’s best racing drivers and promote India as one of Asia’s motorsport capitals. Thus, JK Tyre has conquered two steps in the motorsport program where the new racing aspirants first establish themselves in India, then graduate to Asian level i.e. to Formula BMW which is now JKRAS and then they move to higher levels of racing. JK Tyre now stands closer to achieving its mission of bringing world-class motorsport to the Indian masses.
The Racing and Karting programme by JK Tyre has been the breeding ground for the country’s motorsport talents like Narain Karthikeyan, Armaan Ebrahim, Karun Chandhok, Aditya Patel and other new emerging talents.