Anindith Reddy wrapped up a perfect 2017 season at the final round of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship.
Anindith Reddy Konda won all four races at the season finale of the Euro JK 17 series at the Buddh International Circuit near Greater Noida to seal his second consecutive title in the category.
After winning the title last year, also by sweeping the final round, Reddy has dominated the domestic single seat scene by winning both the MRF F1600 and the Euro JK 17 crown this year.
Trailing Reddy in the final championship classification was Vishnu Prasad, who had started the season by sweeping the opening round at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Prasad was visibly unhappy at his performances in the final round, which ultimately led to him finishing 27 points behind Reddy.
Just eight points behind him was Nayan Chatterjee.
Chatterjee ran Prasad - who had returned to JK Tyre’s top racing category after not competing in 2016 - close in many races but was largely unable to make an impression on Reddy.
Chatterjee did, however, start the third race of the weekend (the first race today) ahead of Reddy and had a brief battle with him before the defending champion took the win to seal the title with one race to spare.
The two races on Saturday saw Prasad try to best Reddy but the defending champion won comfortably by a margin of around 4.5 seconds.
By his own admission, Prasad, who had returned in fine style at the beginning of the season, had a pretty terrible outing. The 24-year-old’s career has been somewhat in limbo since he missed out on taking part in the now discontinued Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup.
Meco Motorsport has kept him busy with campaigns in karting, LGB F4 and FB02/Euro JK series but efforts to raise sponsorship to try his hand at racing outside the country have not borne fruit as yet.
A Learning Year
Perhaps we will see Prasad race again next season, which would at least allow observers to gauge the progress of Mira Erda. The 17-year-old got her feet wet this year with the Euro JK17 car that is a monumental step up from the LGB cars she was driving earlier.
Ideally, of course, Erda would have gone from Rotax karting straight to Euro JK but currently India’s first step in formula racing is a racing category that doesn’t seem to do much for the development of a drivers’ skills.
The LGB cars seem stuck in a different era all together and efforts to have a proper upgrade have so far been stalled due to reasons related to cost. JK Tyre is mindful of its role as the OEM whose efforts in racing are based around allowing drivers to get their feet in the door.
With high costs in the Rotax karting series and the Euro JK cars being expensive to race too (unless a driver gets a paid drive) the LGB class is often the only option to get a start in racing unless one goes the touring car racing route.
Thankfully, this is not a problem that Erda has to worry about anymore. And she can now just focus on her continued development as a racing driver through driving in Euro JK and other testing and physical training. Perhaps more than this season, 2018 will bring added scrutiny to Erda’s performance and one hopes that she progresses enough to make it to the top five in race classifications.
The question of who will fight for the title next year, however, is a trickier one. Reddy is almost certain to leverage his two years of success in domestic racing to participating in the MRF Challenge. Or at least he can try. It is never a guarantee, of course that he will get the drive, although he thoroughly deserves to. Not to mention it will give the MRF Challenge some much needed Indian participation.
But before we see what 2018 brings, the racers get a well-earned rest after a 16-race season.