Sometimes the best way to keep young domestic level racers on their toes is to throw them to the mercy of more experienced racers
Aditya Patel and Armaan Ebrahim are no strangers to rounds of the JK Tyre Championship even after heading to Europe where they regularly race in sports car racing. They come to the Buddh International Circuit as well as the far more modest setting of the Kari Motor Speedway (KMS) in Coimbatore to promote JK Tyre’s efforts in domestic circuit racing and karting due to the tyre company’s support offered to them in their careers.
They hang around filling the media in on their future plans and how their latest race meetings went as well as hand out trophies but tend to look a little bit bored.
It could be the reason that the two were seen strapped into Formula BMW cars (officially known as FB02) and lining up at the back of the grid in the three JK Racing India Series (JKRIS) of the weekend.
Invariably the three 15 lap races featured a charge up the field from Patel and Ebrahim as they tried to progress as high up the field as possible against the 10 regular drivers in the JKRIS.
Vishnu Prasad and Chittesh Mandody took two and one wins respectively, as the other drivers on the grid did their best to halt the advance of the experienced racers to the best of their abilities.
It made for an interesting experience even for Prasad - who won the JKRIS title last year – in the third and final race of the weekend where he finished fifth (after removing Patel and Ebrahim’s finishing positions).
“I was driving on the straight going into the braking zone just minding my own business,” said Prasad. “And all of a sudden I see these two guys just shoot right past either side of me, and I am like….’just wait till I get you guys next time!’” The lanky Prasad said this with a smile beaming across his face; which is pretty much a stock expression for him when he is not in a racing car. The feeling of wanting to get back at the two is probably the intended consequence of putting the less experienced drivers against the likes of Patel and Ebrahim.
The regular field of JKRIS racers were intended to play a similar role for Mumbai’s Rahil Noorani, who was the highest placed Indian driver in the Volkswagen Polo R Cup last year.
While a new crop of Polo R Cup drivers raced at the KMS in between the JKRIS races and the LGB Formula 4 races; Noorani was trying to make headway in the FB02 car as part of Volkswagen Motorsport India’s decision to not send the winner of the Polo R Cup directly to the Scirocco R Cup in Europe.
Single seat race cars are accepted as the best way to train a driver and Noorani’s 5th and 4th place finish in the second and third races after a ninth place finish in the first indicates there is something to the ‘cat among the pigeons’ approach of driver training. Or in Noorani’s case, throwing the pigeon among the cats.