JK Tyre, the name that stands synonymous to motorsport in the country is celebrating over four decades of their motorsport journey. While the pandemic did not deter the spirit of the brand in last two years as they successfully hosted their racing championship coupled with all annual events, the team today announced their plans for 2022.
Present at the event, India’s decorated rally driver and Arjuna Awardee Gaurav Gill announced his participation in the World Rally Championship (WRC) 2022. The three-time APRC (Asia Pacific Rally Championship) champion and seven- time INRC (Indian National Rally Championship) champion is all geared up to participate in the WRC Safari Rally in Kenya scheduled from June 23-26. Gill will be driving the Skoda Fabia R5 in WRC 2 churning out 290 hp with a maximum torque of 425 Newton metres with Brazilian co-driver Gabriel Morales. Touted as one of the most challenging rallies of WRC, the Safari features 19 special stages covering almost 365km of competition crossing challenging closed dirt roads, rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which can transform dry and dusty trails into muddy bogs.
Gill’s last outing in WRC 2 was pre-pandemic in 2019 in Rally of Turkey where despite missing out on completing his tryst with victory, he won a lot of praise for his commendable drive by the fraternity. His outing in Rally of Australia came to a halt as the event was cancelled last minute due to the raging fire in the forest stages around the city of Coffs Coast, New South Wales.
“I am excited to return to WRC after a hiatus of over 2 years. I have utilized these two years of pandemic to reflect on my previous participations and have worked on improving my fitness and performance holistically while engaging in various top end activities besides National Rally championship. I am thankful to JK Tyre Motorsports for their support and I am optimistic of claiming good results for the country and the team,” Gaurav Gill said.
In the domestic front, 2022 is a celebratory year for JK Tyre as the company will be hosting the 25th continuous year of JK Tyre National Racing Championship this year and is optimistic of reviving their big-ticket event at the Buddh International Circuit including international exhibition races.
In line with its ethos of nurturing young talents across the country, the company has announced a scholarship program of 300,000 Euros which will be utilized to promote upcoming talent who have proved their mettle in the domestic circuit. Upto 5 young talented athletes including a girl athlete from across verticals of motorsport will be identified to avail the scholarship. The first one to be part of it is India’s rising racing star, 17 yr old Amir Sayed from Kottyam who proved his mettle and became the JK Tyre Novice Cup Champion in 2020 by winning all the 12 races of the season in his category. Amir is supported by JK Tyre Motorsport and is participating in the French F4 Championship this year.
Speaking on the program, Mr Sanjay Sharma, Head of Motorsports, JK Tyre said, “JK Tyre has always been at the forefront of promoting motorsports in India. Setting up tracks & infrastructure across the country, the company has been instrumental in uplifting the culture of motorsports in India and Indians abroad. With an aim to give the young talent the much-needed push, we have announced this scholarship program which will select kids from across categories and provide them a chance to bring in laurels by representing the nation at international platforms. Starting the 25th year we are fueled with passion to race ahead with our motorsports plans and keep adding more and more value to the world of motorsports in the country.”
JK Tyre has been harbinger of motorsports in the country, more than 90% of the kids racing abroad have come from JK Tyre’s programs. Inspirations like young Arjun Maini, Kush Maini, Yash Aradhya, Akhil Rabindra, Sneha Sharma, Mira Erda have also been developed in JK Tyre’s motorsport program.
About JK Tyre Motorsport:
JK Tyre has been closely associated with the world of motorsports for almost three decades back. The company laid down a long term plan to popularize and promote the sport in the country. Its first target was to change the notion that this was a sport for the elite. So it packaged and redesigned it in a spectator-friendly way, drawing the masses to the sport.
The company then endeavored to spot, nurture and sharpen the drivers to turn them into world champions. With this goal in mind, we conceptualized the JK Tyre National Racing Champion in 1997. Our efforts started paying dividends in just a few years’ time, with the likes of Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok going all the way to the F1 rung, the highest level of single-seat racing in the world. Since then, a number of stars emerged, including Armaan Ebrahim, the Maini brothers (Kush and Arjun), Anindith Reddy Konda, amongst many others.
Before all this, JK Tyre had a successful stint in rallying too, conquering the scene in the early 90s. At the same time, gradually, we moved on to various disciplines, including cross-country rallying and off-roading, leaving a mark in each of them with their unique and innovative ways. JK Tyre Motorsports is also very proud of the role it has played in bringing women into motorsports in a big way. Apart from encouraging them to get into the sport through karting as kids, we also gave them opportunities in various national championships.
To supplement JK Tyre’s entry into the two-wheeler market, the JKNRC hosted the Suzuki Gixxer Cup and the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup categories and saw enthusiastic participation from across the country. Today, the company is synonymous with motorsports, and even more so with racing, creating a lot of goodwill for the brand. Right from budding racers to accomplished drivers in the country, everybody owes their rise and success to JK Tyre.