When Tata Motors introduced the Tata T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship back in 2014, they promised us two things – great racing, and Indian drivers behind the wheel before too long. Well, both promises have now been delivered!
Cross country rallying, rallying and circuit racing are the three major motorsport disciplines in India. Tata Motors’ attempts and planned projects in them never bore them fruit. In their attempt to have a motorsport presence, they started the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship in association with JK Tyre. It’s an event through which they can promote their commercial vehicle division, for what the company is primarily recognised as, in the public eye.
It seems illogical that Tata spends more money on a single round of T1 in a year than most other manufacturers in their entire one-make-racing seasons. But the way Tata utilizes its marketing resources to sell - giant trucks racing and crashing into each other ever so often, is quite fascinating.
For season 3, Tata Motors had introduced a new Super Class category - in which 12 Indian drivers that were selected out of 550 entrants from their new driver development programme. The drivers were divided into two groups with 6 drivers in each of the two, 6 lap sprint races.
Jagat Singh from Haryana and Nagarjuna A from Andhra Pradesh were the winners of their respective races and received huge applause from the packed grand stand at the circuit. In addition to the crowd’s roaring cheer, each of the winners were also awarded Rs.10 lakh in prize money, the highest ever in the history of Indian motorsport.
In the Pro Class, the first 8 lap race was won by the current champion from the British Truck Racing Association, Matt Summerfield for Team Castrol. Richard Collet finished 2nd and Graham Powell finished 3rd, for Team Cummins.
The Final 20 lap sprint race saw Summerfield suffer two major accidents. The first crash happening early on in the race at turn 3, while the second one was the final blow to his championship contention. This left David Jenkins, who fought his way through the dominant Team Cummins drivers, to take the victory with a healthy lead.
Richard Collett and Graham Powell finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Final race for a second time. Summerfield only managed 8th overall out of the 12 competing drivers despite his two shunts during the race.
Tata has also been hinting at the fact that they could expand the championship to another race weekend being held at the MMRT track in Chennai. With both promises delivered from the projects inception, it seems quite likely that Chennai could also witness similar action packed racing.