Motor racing is an avenue which amalgamates competitive human spirit with our need to experience a rush. Once we’ve grown out of the basic understanding about piloting an automobile, a race track allows us to hone our abilities further by putting them to test in a controlled and safe, yet, exciting atmosphere.
At the forefront of motor racing in India, for over 35 years now, TVS has been transforming rookies into experts. Some of them have proudly stood on the podium at international motor racing events, with the Indian National Anthem being played with pride in the background. If you are someone who has been harbouring dreams of hunting apexes over a racing weekend but are clueless about where to begin from, here’s how TVS can wrap some racing slicks around your fast dreams.
The TVS Rider Training Academy
Your street riding skills simply cannot jump the fence and make you competitive on a race track. Motor racing on a track is a far more challenging act than riding a motorcycle fast on everyday roads. Riding a bike on a track, and riding it fast, requires the right skills, a decent amount of fitness, and an expert who guides you throughout the learning process.
Some of the best racing talents in this country share their knowledge with budding racers at the TVS Rider Training Academy. Your time at the track begins with a classroom session, where you are introduced to the rules of the track which you must follow at all times. The classroom session then gets you acquainted with the track and introduces you to all the basic techniques like body positioning, throttle control, braking, cornering, even how to crash correctly. Because before you can even think of getting into Motor Racing, you have to remove the fear of crashing out of your system. It is a part of racing.
The trainers then take you out for a practise session and guide you about the various aspects of track riding. Bikes for the programme are provided by TVS and training is open to riders of the age group 14 – 25 years only. The training is a one-day affair and lasts for about 7 hours. It is compulsory for all trainees to carry necessary safety gear in the form of a high-quality full-face helmet, a full-leather suit, riding boots with ankle protection and leather gloves.
The academy also provides a few riding suits and helmets on hire, but that is on a first come first served basis. If the rider is below 18 years of age, an indemnity signed by the parent has to be submitted at the time of enrolment. Although motor racing is expensive, the cost to attend this training is a mere INR 4,500 for a day, which also covers lunch and refreshments.
There’s also a TVS Racing Training Academy for women, where 25 aspiring women racers undergo a one-day training programme. Among them, 15 are shortlisted to participate in the TVS Ladies One-Make Series and go through a year-long training and racing programme led by renowned racer and ex-TVS Racing rider Rajini Krishnan. Any woman/girl over 13 years of age who has been riding a motorcycle for at least two years is eligible to apply for this programme. Based on the entries, 25 candidates will be selected and attend an intensive training programme for a day. This will include 6 theory sessions followed by a practise session on the track and ends with a short race. 15 successful candidates will be selected on the basis of time recorded during a 3-lap race.
Once you have acquainted yourself with the nuances of track riding, you can enrol yourself to compete in the TVS One Make Championship. An event approved by the FMSCI, it runs under the International Sporting Code of the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM). A 5-round championship, it is held across three racing tracks in India – The MMRT in Chennai, the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore and the BIC in Greater Noida.
Each entrant should be the holder of a valid competition license issued by the FMSCI before they can enrol themselves in the Open or Novice category. The former category is open to any rider who is above 23 years of age or has WON any race in any previous Championship/ Cup/ Challenge/ series/ Scheme in India or Abroad. On the other hand, riders who are below 23 Years of Age and have not WON any race in any of the previous Championship/ Cup/ Challenge/ series/ scheme conducted in India or Abroad can enrol in the Novice category.
All riders should have previous racing experience or should at the very least have completed a training session with California Super Bike School or Apex Racing Academy or Honda Ten 10 Racing Academy or Rajini Academy of Competitive Racing, A S Motor Sports Academy, Kingdom Racing Academy or MMSC Racing Academy.
A modified, common-spec TVS Apache RTR 200 is provided by the TVS Motor Company to all racers. The entry fee for both the Novice and Open categories is INR 3,000/- per race weekend. The maximum number of entries allowed is based on circuit length, where the grid includes a maximum of 36 riders at KMS and 40 at MMRT & BIC. Entry forms for the championship can be downloaded from www.madrasmotorsports.in or www.fmsci.co.in
Motorsport is dangerous and one should take note of the fact that normal insurance policies issued in India do not provide cover for Motor Racing. However, only during the running of the event, all FMSCI Competition Licence holders are insured for personal accident insurance of INR 5 Lakh and a similar amount of hospitalization benefits.
In the first round, the Organisers conduct 2 Qualifying Session/ heat for up to 40 riders in the TVS Apache RTR 200CC novice Category, who have given their fully filled up entries to MMSC on or before the cut off date. The top 15 riders who record the best time in the Qualifying session/heat shall only be allowed to take part in the race for the first round. In subsequent rounds, all the riders who are in the points will get confirmed entry. New entries will be taken only for the number of seats available over and above the riders who have championship points.
The finish order of Race 1 shall be the starting grid for Race 2. TVS will have the right to include up to 5 wildcard entries per round in the novice class. These wildcard entry riders should also complete all documentation & scrutiny. The Organisers will conduct a qualifying Session / Heat for 20 riders in the TVS Apache RTR 200CC Open Category (who are deemed fit to ride the said bikes, by MMSC race committee). The starting order for the race 1 shall be as per the Qualifying and the finish order of Race 1 shall be the starting order for Race 2. TVS will have the right to include up to 2 wildcard entries in this category per round.
Winners of individual rounds are awarded a trophy and a cash prize of INR 7,500, INR 5,000 and INR 2,500 respectively in the order of their finish. For winners of the overall championship, the amount goes up to INR 30,000, INR 20,000 and INR 10,000 respectively. The winner of the championship is decided after tallying the overall points, where a race winner scores 25 points, the 2nd place rider scores 18, and then it goes to 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, in that order, for the top-10 finishers.
So put on your racing boots, slip into that riding suit, grab your gloves & helmet and go live your fast dreams as fast as you can. There has never been a better time in India to dream a motor racing dream.