The 2022 edition of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship – now in its 25th anniversary year – kicked off with the inaugural round at Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The weekend saw races in three different categories – the headlining LGB Formula 4 class, the Novice Cup class and the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup, which is now in just its second season.
Arya Singh of Dark Don Racing and Kyle Kumaran of DTS racing dominated the LGB Formula 4 and Novice Cup classes, respectively, while the Continental GT Cup saw three different winners across the three races that were held.
LGB Formula 4
Team Dark Don Racing dominated the LGB Formula 4 class with Arya Singh winning two of the three races and coming third in the last race. In fact, Race 1 was almost a breezer for Singh, and for the team as they secured all three podium positions. Another strong showing was from MSport’s Ruhaan Alva, the defending Novice Cup champion, who upgraded to the LGB Formula 4 this year, and finished P7.
In Race 2, Singh faced tough competition from Amir Sayed and Viswas Vijayaraj of Ahura Racing breathing down his neck for most of the race. However, he defended his position well to take victory again with Vijayaraj taking second position. Meanwhile, Singh’s teammate, Tijil Rao, finished third. Race 3 again saw all three podium positions going to Dark Don Racing, however, with Sandeep Kumar now on the top spot. A mid-field crash on the penultimate lap, however, meant that the race finished under safety car conditions.
1. Arya Singh (Dark Don Racing) - 23:44.955
2. Tijil Rao (Dark Don Racing) - 23:45.498
3. Ashwin Datta (Dark Don Racing) - 23:46.121
1. Arya Singh (Dark Don Racing) - 20:09.536
2. Viswas Vijayaraj (Ahura Racing) - 20:18.793
3. Tijil Rao (Dark Don Racing) - 20:22.473
1. Sandeep Kumar (Dark Don Racing) - 28:10.333
2. Ashwin Dutta (Dark Don Racing) - 28:10.539
3. Arya Singh (Dark Don Racing) - 28:10.893
The Novice Cup saw four races spread over the weekend with DTS Racing’s Kyle Kumaran winning three of them. Race 1 saw a close battle between Kumaran and DTS Racing’s Joel Joseph and MSport’s Dhruvh Goswami, with the three finishing in first, second and third, respectively. Kumaran continued his dominance in Race 2 as well, with DTS Racing’s Vinith Kumar coming in second and Hasten Performance’s Aadithya Parasuram finishing third. Parasuram had missed a shot at victory in Race 1 due to a spin with just a few laps left.
Race 3, however, saw a dramatic start. With reverse grid in place, the pole sitter stalled his car as the lights went green, and that led to three cars being taken out on the start-finish straight. The race was red flagged, but when it resumed, Kumaran fought his way up from eighth to finish second behind Aadithya Parasuram of Hasten Performance. Third place went to Dhruvh Goswami of MSport. Later, in Race 4, Kumaran shot back strongly to finish on top of the podium again, although this time behind the safety car that was brought out two laps before the chequered flag, due to a crash.
1. Kyle Kumaran (DTS Racing) - 13:38.548
2. Joel Joseph (DTS Racing) - 13:39.905
3. Dhruvh Goswami (MSport) - 13:40.400
1. Kyle Kumaran (DTS Racing) - 15:17.955
2. Vinith Kumar (DTS Racing) - 15:18.554
3. Aadithya Parasuram (Hasten Performance) - 15:19.320
1. Aadhitya Parsuram (Hasten Performance) - 15:19.654
2. Kyle Kumaran (DTS Racing) -15:25.403
3. Dhruvh Goswami (M Sport) - 15:27.503
1. Kyle Kumaran (DTS Racing) - 16:30.407
2. Aadhithya Parsuram (Hasten Performance) - 16:31.383
3. Vinith Kumar (DTS Racing) - 16:32.086
Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup
The Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup introduced the Pro-Am Series format this time with 10 professional and 15 amateur riders competing together on the same grid. In the Pro category of Race 1, it was Allwin Xavier who took the top honours after snatching victory from defending champion Anish Damodara Shetty in the final laps. Allwin and Anish were followed by Joseph Mathew in third. In the Amateur category, it was Soorya PM from Chennai who bagged the top podium spot – and a surprise third overall – with Naresh Kaname and Varun Gowda finishing second and third respectively.
Race 2 saw Anish D Shetty reclaim the top spot as Allwin Xavier lightly rear ended Anish’s bike and slipped on the track midway into the race. Joseph Mathew defended his third spot in Race 2 as well, with Ullas S Nanda finishing second in the Pro category. In the Amateur category, Soorya PM defended his lead, and was followed by Varun Gowda in second and Raj Kumar in third. In Race 3, top honours went to Navaneeth Kumar in the Pro category, followed by Ullas S Nanda in second and Sudheer Sudhakar in third. Soorya PM was unbeatable in the Amateur category, followed by Varun Gowda and Rohan R in second and third places, respectively.