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Big news on the Indian motorsport front! JK Tyre Motorsport, one of the biggest movers and shakers in Indian motorsport and a huge name in Indian rallying is back to kick up dust and dirt on rally tracks across the country. Speaking exclusively to Motor Sport India magazine, JK Tyre Motorsport’s head, Sanjay Sharma, confirmed the return of the yellows to Indian rallying. He told us about the company’s rallying history and gave us a sneak peek of the road ahead for the JK Rally Team. Here’s some exclusive information about JK Tyre Motorsport’s 2019 plans as the organisation announces its entry into INRC 2019.
Read more about JK Tyre’s plans for the 2019 INRC in the New Look issue of Motorsport India – Subscribe in this link
JK Tyre’s journey as a rally team started 26 years ago, way back in 1993. Till then the company only served as sponsors to different rallying events in India, notably the Great Himalayan Rally. JK announced plans to enter rallying as they were looking to diversify their presence and not just with tyre manufacturing. In fact it was the first professional outfit ever to compensate its entire crew for their services. “In 1993 we had a whole set up. We had to create a new system for motorsport as we were only in the tyre business. We had to integrate motorsports with our corporate setup. It was a tough journey but we had fun” said Sanjay Sharma in an exclusive interview with Motor Sport India magazine.
Sharma’s views on India being a motorsport haven are rather encouraging. “We’re a country with unique terrains and an interesting geographical setup. In 500 km you can go from 40 degrees to minus 40 degrees Celsius and even from mountains to the coast”. This geographical trait itself makes India very special, according to Sharma. Yet JK Tyre diverted from rallying in 1998 and entered racing, due to varied reasons. Rallying in India didn’t keep up with the advanced technologies entering the automotive industry at that time. The audience too would get updates about an ongoing rally a day late. This because there was no live social media coverage like today.
Nonetheless in 2019 JK Tyre has a new committed promoter. It’s confirmed that the team will enter the INRC 2019. Sharma hasn’t indicated which car will they be competing in, the R2 or the R5 spec. But he did insist that INRC should have one overall winner along with the category winners. “I want the fastest car in the rally to be the winner of the rally and being an FMSCI council member I have proposed this idea to my colleagues.”
The featured image is an artist’s rendering