Sanjay Sharma: More manufacturers key to growth of Indian racing

Head of Motorsports at JK Tyre, Sanjay Sharma, believes the need for new manufacturers in the circuit is overdue.

The first round of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship will be held between July 6-8 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore.   -  J. Manoharan

With the new racing season around the corner, racing giant JK Tyre is going gung-ho over the National Racing Championship (NRC). The NRC, one of the most iconic motorsport events, includes the Euro JK, LGB Formula 4 single-seater race car series and the Gixxer Cup. The championship will also see many rallying events over the course of the year. 

The first round of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship will be held between July 6-8 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The Round 2 has been scheduled between August 21 and September 2, 2018, while Round 3 will take place between October 12-14. The final is scheduled to be held at the Buddh International Circuit between November 16-18, 2018.

Head of Motorsports at JK Tyre, Sanjay Sharma, said, "We have decided not to introduce any new class or upgrade any technology for this year. It is because we feel it is better to consolidate what we have achieved over the last few years and produce more riders who can then unleash their trade at the international level."

Sharma said the need for new manufacturers in the circuit is overdue. "Going forward, if we want racing to grow any further, there need to be more manufacturers to compete with each other.

"And, it is better when machine wins along with the driver, not just the driver winning or just machine winning in a single mix," he said.

"It is important for the manufacturers to not ride on other championships or other events but have their own championship classes. The single mix, to me, is the entry point to getting into motorsports.

"They should pursue this path because this gives them the opportunity to get the basics in place and in due course, they will have grids of equal standard machines. They will not have to bother about drivers and the pool of drivers too," he added.

On par with international standards

Talking about the racing scenario, Sharma said he was happy to see his team on par with international standards. "From an organisation point of view, it is all on par with international standard. The organisational capabilities are fantastic but what we lack in general is the promotion. We need to add lot more to promotions so that we can reach out to as many as people as possible. That is how we will increase more participation from viewers," he added.

The JK motorsport head said a lot of insight has gone into the grassroots activities which in turn has helped the budding drivers. "JK supports a lot of grassroots activities from where the drivers graduate and move to the next higher levels like formula B or formula HV BMW.

"We will continue to pursue that path and we will continue to keep our talent hunt path too. Our driver selection programme goes to every nook and corner of the country too," he said.