The JK Tyre National Racing Championship commenced its 2017 season at Coimbatore’s Kari Motor Speedway. Round 1 featured four categories – the EuroJK, the Formula LGB4, and the Suzuki Gixxer Cup which sees its first year under JK motorsport.
After a one-year break from the Euro series, Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad came back strong, finishing first in both the races on Day 1.
He started fourth in Race 1, but bagged pole, beating defending champion Anindith Reddy and Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee to the chequered flag.
He went on to dominate Race 2, finishing with a strong lead ahead of Chatterjee. Chatterjee had to defend his second position from a very aggressive Reddy who finished third.
Anindith, however, had better pace overall and posted the fastest lap in Race 2 with a time of 1:00.695 minutes.
This year’s Euro grid also had two foreign drivers – Paolo Ippolito (Italy) and Ricky Capo (Australia). Ippolito finished fifth and seventh while Capo took the eighth place in the second race.
Saran Vikram got off to a strong start in the opening LGB4 race, with Avalanche Racing’s Chittesh Mandody and Raghul Rangasamy in tow. But Kevin Perera’s crash in lap 5, and the following restart cost Saran his lead. He was then passed by Chittesh Mandody of Avalanch Racing and Dark Don Racing’s Diljith TS, after which the top three positions remained unchanged until the end. Kolhapur’s Mandody also recorded the fastest lap (1:11.097 minutes) in the twelfth lap.
Suzuki Gixxer Cup
This year sees a 22-strong grid with riders handpicked from selection rounds around the country. Chennai’s Joseph Mathew took the first position while Sanjeev Mhatre (Mumbai) and Lalmawipuia (Aizawl) finished second and third.
The Road to Rookie Cup sees its second run in India, this year under JK Tyre. It features riders aged 13-17, who compete on Gixxer Cup bikes. The opening race was won by Sri Lanka’s Jaden Gunawardena, who was closely followed by Aizawl boys Lalhruaizela and Lalnunsanga in second and third.
Euro JK 17
1. Vishnu Prasad
2. Nayan Chatterjee
3. Anindith Reddy
1. Vishnu Prasad
2. Anindith Reddy
3. Nayan Chatterjee;
LGB4 (Race 1):
1. Chittesh Mandody
2. Diljith TS
3. Saran Vikram
1. Joseph Mathew
2. Sanjeev Mhatre
Road to Rookie Cup:
1. Jaden Gunawardena