Over the years, I must confess, we were tempted to return to the wonderful sport of car rallying. However, we were waiting for the right moment and it came this year when FMSCI signed up a new promoter and opened up regulations to allow FIA homologated cars.
We also saw that the promoter was enthusiastic while manufacturers were also showing an increased level of interest. And when 50 teams signed up for the first round in Chennai, we knew that the time was ripe to return to national rallying.
Not too long ago, when we were in the fray we had built a formidable reputation, as the team to beat. We had to live up to that so our first goal was to zero in on the best driver in the country. Gaurav Gill without doubt was ‘the’ man and we were happy to see that the urge to work together was mutual.
Then, we looked at other talented drivers and backed Dean Mascarenhas, Karna Kadur, Younus Ilyas and Suhem Kabeer. True to our philosophy of promoting women, we got Shivani Pruthvi too on board.
Once we had an ideal lineup, we drew a roadmap that would help them reach their true potential.
Our concerted plan immediately yielded results. Seasoned campaigner Dean
scored his first big victory on his debut with JK Tyres. As expected, Gaurav was the cynosure of all eyes and he didn’t disappoint, driving in his inimitable aggressive style and clocking amazing timings.
As we go forward, we will consolidate on this brilliant comeback.
We will soon launch the JK Tyre Rallying team and bring in international fourwheel cars as well as worldclass tuners and engineers. By collaborating with top teams, we will build on our reputation as a force to reckon with, in every rallying and racing event.
Our goal is to give our drivers the best training and exposure to blossom and convert their talent, all under the watchful eyes of experts.
INRC Round 1 was pretty satisfying for competitors but the new promoter can still do a few things to make it more spectator friendly.
We were also hoping to rekindle the old rivalry between the Yellows and the Reds which is what the sport badly needs.
But the Reds got associated with the promoter as one of the championship sponsors, thus denying the fans the pleasure of a straight tussle between determined teams and brands.
The rivalry is critical for India’s most favourite motorsport vertical to attain the success and popularity that can make it truly big.