The Chennai leg of the Amaron Karting Championship – Season 3 produced six winners.
Eighteenth December 2010 gave Chennai its fastest boys on wheels. After creating waves in Coimbatore, the Amaron Karting Championship Season 3 shifted its focus to Chennai.
Held on the tracks of the prestigious Kart Attack, ECR, the event saw huge participation from over 11500 students registering from schools in and around Chennai. Mac, Motor Sport Division (Amaron Pro Racing) points out —“The main objective of the event is to transform kids who have the potential into trained professionals, with Amaron backing them all the way through different levels of motor sports.”
The top 64 contestants, who made it through the initial qualifying rounds, fought it out with immense determination. The races began to heat up during the semi finals when the contestants put full pressure on the throttle in pursuit of victory.
The top four finishers from both the semi finals made it to the finals. As the final list was being read out, a grand entry was made by brand ambassador of Amaron and Formula One driver, Karun Chandhok. If his presence wasn't motivation enough, the organisers announced that the top three finishers would be provided an all expense paid trip to Hyderabad for the grand finale.
With six spots up for grabs, it was time for the wheels to roll for one last time. A 10 lap race with sharp bends and long straights tested the endurance of the contestants, and in the end it was Nabeel Khan from A.M.M Matriculation School, who took the chequered flag ahead of P.Shruthik and D.Akash. Karun Chandhok motivated them to chase their dreams and then handed them their medals. A clearly ecstatic Nebeel Khan, winner of the Chennai leg, later quipped “I had earlier taken part in the Amaron Karting Championship two years back and failed. That failure motivated me and I trained harder to make sure I won this time.”
After producing racing stalwarts Karun Chandhok and Armaan Ebrahim, Chennai now can flaunt young Nabeel on the Indian motor sport scene.
Interview with Karun Chandhok
What has Amaron done in encouraging Motor Sports in India?
Motor sport is a sport where, you know, it is not easy to come through but what Amaron have done here is that they have taken the sport to the people. They have taken it to children, and encouraged them to take up racing as a sport. It is a great initiative, but it's also important that they need to take the next step. There is no point in these kids saying – I'm Amaron Karting champion. What next? So what they have done is they offer training programs and scholarships, thereby creating steps in the ladder providing a complete package.
See, you have to take it level by level, no?
From here, we take them to the JK tyre junior cup. It again is a low budget format. At the end of the day, you have to invest in cars, mechanics, people, tracks and so one. The fact that JK and Amaron are coming to subsidise it is a huge benefit for these kids. I'll tell you there is no other country in the world where you can conduct a championship of this magnitude. It can never be completely free, but yeah we are moving in the right direction.
Where do you see Indian motor sport in the future?
We have a very good future. You guys have to help here. The more media support we get, we will develop as a sport and more kids can benefit when more sponsors start coming in. It's a chicken and egg, where everyone has to help each other.
On a personal note, will we see Karun Chandhok in Formula One, preferably with Force India?
Hopefully 2011 I'll be back on the grid. I don't think ill race for Force India but I'm reasonably confident that I'll be driving at the Indian Grand Prix. My contract with Hispania Racing Team was for one year, and I had a great chance to interact with five world champions, including Vettel. Let's see, how things chalk up.
Finally, have you seen the track at Greater Noida? How is it shaping up?
Yeah I was there earlier this week. It's a nice circuit with challenging corners. Tilke has designed it in such a way that, as spectators people will able to view two to three corners from the grandstand. It is very spectator friendly.
Neelesh is a student of Rajalakshmi Engineering College