Foreign drivers to raise the level in JK Tyre Racing Championship
The 2017 season of JK Tyre Racing Championship gets underway at its traditional home in Coimbatore this weekend, with two foreign drivers set to add to the lustre of the premier single-seater series.
Former Australian F3 champion Ricky Capo and Italian karting graduate Paolo Ippolito will take part in the flagship Euro JK category, which received a major upgrade last year that delivered a lap time gain of a whopping seven seconds at the Buddh International Circuit.
Capo and Ippolito will serve as a benchmark for the Indian pack, which includes defending champion Anindith Reddy, multiple national-level champion Vishnu Prasad and last year’s second runner-up Nayan Chatterjee.
Reddy dominated the second half of the championship last year and completed a clean sweep in the final round at Greater Noida.
The Hyderabad-based driver will face a stern challenge from three-time FB02 (now Euro JK) champion Prasad, who returns to the category after a one-year hiatus.
Chatterjee is another strong contender for the title; the Mumbaikar won four races in the first two rounds last year but was unlucky to be hit by a string of technical issues in the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, Euro JK will see its first female driver in form of 17-year-old Mira Erda, who graduates to the category after some creditable performances in karting and LGB F4
Speaking of LGB F4, the entry-level, wingless, single-seater series will have a field of 18 drivers, including two Sri Lankas. Among Indian drivers, Chennai’s Raghul Rangasamy, pilot-cum-racer Sneha Sharma and Delhi’s Rohit Khanna are likely to be the frontrunners
Suzuki Gixxer Cup will also serve as a support event, with 30 bikers, including two female racers, taking part in on the one-make championship
In addition, 15 racers in the age group of 12-16 years will compete in the rookie category, with selected candidate(s) getting a chance to represent India in the Red Bull Rookies Cup qualifying shootout in Spain.
“We are really excited about this season,” Sanjay Sharma, head of JK Motorsport, said. “Not only is it going to be bigger and grander but we will also have a two-wheeler category for the first time
“There is immense biking talent in the country. We had over 1200 fine aspirants and it’s a pity that we couldn’t accommodate more,” he added.
Erda becomes first female driver in Euro JK Tyre series
Coimbatore JK Tyre: Prasad fends off Reddy to win season opener