2023 Vroom Drag Meet — a weekend of controlled chaos
Avdhoot A Kolhe for evo India

2023 Vroom Drag Meet — a weekend of controlled chaos

Some of the country’s fastest machines went all-out at the ninth edition of the Vroom drag meet

How does a weekend with some of the country’s fastest machines going full-send on an empty airstrip sound? Well, it’s a lot better than you can imagine! The Vroom Drag meet edition 9.0 took place on November 25-26, 2023 at the Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited near Bangalore, and it was my first experience of the drag-racing world. And boy was in for a big surprise. Vroom Motorsports is one of the pioneers of drag racing in India and over the last nine of its editions this event has seen a huge rise in popularity. This year saw the participation of 287 competitors.

The weekend started on Friday with a scrutiny check of all the entrants. All the machines were stickered and checked for safety for the madness that lay ahead, the next day. The four-wheeler (4W) and two-wheeler (2W) categories had five sections each and the event commenced with the latter. As expected the entrants turned up on everything from homemade electric scooters to drag prepped litre-class superbikes to see how fast they could sprint across a quarter mile (402m). With a time of 11.979 seconds, it was Salman Khan who clocked the fastest time in the Indian two-wheeler category, on his custom Yamaha RD350. The fastest time on an electric two-wheeler was set by Shuheb A on an Ola S1 Pro. But it was 10x Indian national drag race champion Hemanth Muddappa, of Mantra Racing, who just left everybody else in the dust. He piloted his modified Suzuki Hayabusa onto a record time of 9.564 seconds and also set the fastest time of the entire event.

The 4W category saw many new entrants as well as a fair few veterans of the sport putting on a good show. Multiple-time national champion Joel Joseph returned back to drag racing after a four year hiatus in his legendary drag car — the country’s most powerful, 700bhp, Honda Accord. And although he mainly came out to test this beast, which had transmission problems, he still managed to put on a good run in front of the audience. But it was a Bimmer, a Stage 3 M340i driven by Darshan Saasalu and prepped by Harmonixx Tuning, which topped the 4W time charts with a commendable time of 10.808 seconds.

The Vroom Drag meet had free entries for female competitors and therefore saw the participation of many of them. The fastest woman rider of the event was Shweta Chitrode on her drag spec Hayabusa and Uvashri KB from Chennai who ripped the strip in her AWD stage three Octavia. Between runs India's drift king Sanam Sekhon kept on putting on a drift show in his manic tuned Lexus GS drifter. Not only that, a team of stunt riders also kept entertaining the audience on their stunt bikes.

The Vroom drag meet edition 9.0 was an eye opener — even as a spectator, drag racing is one of the most thrilling forms of motorsport. And I can’t wait to go see it again.

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