Straight up — If you haven’t congratulated Mahindra Racing for finally landing a podium finish at the recent Malaysian GP, you should. Their Twitter handle is @mahindraracing. I feel that we need to be more free with praise and encouragement for Indian endeavours. I’m sure you are wondering what exactly there is to praise. What did Mahindra in India have to do with the bike technically? Very little. Are any of the riders Indian? Miguel is Portuguese and Effren is Spanish. Any Indian engineers in the pit garage? Probably not. Was the bike made in India? Again, no.
So who or what exactly will you cheer for? Well, you would be cheering for an Indian company that made some tough and courageous calls. They plunged right into the super-competitive world of Moto3. They showed the acumen and wherewithal to forge strong alliances in an alien environment. Then, crucially, they didn’t stick their noses where they didn’t belong and let the experts do what they do best. As a result, Mahindra Racing hasn’t “bought” a race bike like many of the other teams in Moto3, they built their own. This approach is rarer than you might think and its fruits are being reaped now. When I spent a few days with the Mahindra Racing team earlier this year, it was evident that they weren’t satisfied with just finishing in the points. And I am sure that Davide Borghesi, the Moto3 Project Leader, won’t be satisfied with the third step of the podium either. Davide, Mufaddal and the team will surely chip away, feet planted on the ground, well aware that their competition has a head start that spans many years. So, consider this as a first step. A BIG first step.
The second step can be taken only once Mahindra Racing has settled into a successful routine. Which is when engineers from Mahindra (not necessarily just the two-wheeler division) should contribute and experience the intensity of development required when competing at this level. These minds could fill the gaping hole that desperately needs to be filled with the very best possible - a strong development team. No doubt, translating race pace into winning products is a lengthy journey. But, the good news is that Mahindra has already taken the first step, with gusto. For the sake of better Mahindra products, for us, let’s do it - Go Mahindra!