TVS Young Media Racer 2018 training session laid down the foundation for a relishing track experience and here is my review ahead of season opener in June
Life and racing have several commonalities! It is not just always about winning but putting your heart out and relishing the opportunities and be resilient. This principal applies to general flow of human life as well as racing on track as both bring the best in you and make you smile at end of the day, whether you conquer or persevere trying.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to witness a racing weekend unfold from pitwall. Journalists like us do and especially for someone like me who started writing about motorsport, for all the undying passion I have for it, before switching to mainstream automotive journalism, it would be dreams coming true every single time.
Covering a race weekend is one thing and participating in one is a whole different story and when the opportunity came up for the second season of TVS Young Media Racer program I took it in a heartbeat. As amateurish as I can be and like a child waiting to get a paddock pass for a MotoGP weekend, I could not wait to get a race suit on and see how it really felt like.
Although I had been to the storied Kari Motor Speedway a number of times as a spectator or reporter since I live close to it, I was thrilled to step into MMRT as its history speaks for a ton of laid out rubber and greatest racing champions the country has to offer through the years.
After reaching Chennai last Tuesday from Coimbatore and chatting with a couple of TVS personnel at the hotel, I was itching to get to the MMRT the following morning and when the time arrived and knowing Chennai weather for good, it was a bit of a surprise. With no track activity, the place was so serene and cloud patches covered us off what could have been another sweltering day.
With enthusiastic people around, the fellow journalists and I, participating in the TVS Young Media Racer series with three or probably four race weekends running along the course of 2018 INMRC (Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship), sat for the theoretical briefing ahead of the track training session.
The talent bunch on display ready to take us through the course was just epic and it proved TVS Racing’s commitment to the program rather than just doing it for a plain PR stunt. It included multiple champion and chief instructor Harry Sylvester, the young and skillful KY Ahamed and the man I always look up to Jagan Kumar, who won the premier Super Sport 165 cc class six times on the trot.
With safety at its paramount importance, we were explained of different flags being used initially after a walk through on more than 35 years of rich racing pedigree of TVS. With basic instructions on racing lines, braking points, acceleration and flag weaving sections on track, I was buzzed over my first-ever track experience.
Divided into two groups, with Jagan leading one and Ahamed tutoring the other, we were all suited up and ready to hit the tarmac on race-spec Apache RTR 200 4Vs.
The stock bikes were tuned to adhere the demanding needs of a racetrack and I could straight away feel the difference in acceleration, riding dynamics along with a grunty exhaust note.
We could reach them out at anytime and get our doubts sorted, providing an impressive learning curve throughout the day.
Heading out on track in the next couple of times, I was poised to relax myself and not overshoot the tricky corners and concentrated on taking clean exits. As the day progressed, I built up the confidence and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as it was something I longed for too long.
Boxing in every time in pit speed limit, I stopped by and had constructive chats with the instructors who were intuitive and passionate. Clocking in more laps in the final free practice session, all I had was a smile of confidence that would provoke the most in me the next time I go out for a swing.
The productive day culminated signalling a season to begin in June and was I fast enough or too slow? I honestly do not know, but have I enjoyed it the most and liked being around the authentic racing fraternity of TVS? I certainly have and that matters the most to me! You could read my whole season here with everyday updates starting from June! Until then, keep your fingers crossed for me!