National Racing Championship: All-women team to make debut in JK Tyre

The FB02’s first female racer Mira Erda and the teenage duo of Yash Aradhya and Nirmal Uma Shankar are also some names to keep an eye on.

Ahura Racing's 'celebrity driver' Manisha Kelkar (left) and the team's youngest member C. Hansuja sharing a light moment in Coimbatore.   -  Rayan Rozario

An all-women's team making its debut will be the talking point as the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship commences at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore on Saturday.

The six women drivers who have been selected after a nation-wide talent hunt will represent Ahura Racing, with a celebrity driver - Maharashtra actress Manisha Kelkar - leading the charge against the big boys of racing.

“We are proud to welcome an all-women’s team into the JKNRC. We are confident that this will usher in a new trend, attracting many more ladies to motor sports,” Sanjay Sharma, head of motorsports JK Tyre, said.

As many as 25 top drivers, including defending champion Chittesh Mandody (Avalanche Racing) and former winner Vishnu Prasad (MSport), will be fighting for top honours.

Sandeep Kumar (Dark Don Racing), who finished just two points behind Chittesh last year, will be gunning for the ultimate glory.

JK-NRC’s blue riband event, the Euro JK 18 will pit the country’s top 11 racers against each other, in what promises to be a fast and furious affair.

Last year’s third-place finisher Nayan Chatterjee will begin as the favourite, with defending champion Anindith Reddy graduating to the international circuit.

The FB02’s first female racer Mira Erda and the teenage duo of Yash Aradhya and Nirmal Uma Shankar are also some names to keep an eye on.

In the two-wheelers’ section, Joesph Matthew will return to defend his crown in the JK Tyre-Suzuki Gixxer Cup.

The Chennai racer was at his dominating best last season, winning the championship well before the fourth and final round, and will hope to continue his good run.

Sachin Chaudhary of Ahmedabad and Malsawmdawngliana of Aizawl will, however, be breathing down his neck.

The Red Bull Road to Rookies’ Cup will witness an active participation from the North East, with seven out of the nine riders coming from Aizawl.

The youngsters in the age category of 12-16 will aim to blaze the tracks and earn themselves an all-expenses paid trip to Spain to represent India at the mega international event.