Amittrajit Ghosh switches to JK Tyre for 2020 INRC
Yesterday we exclusively broke news that Mahindra Adventure was pulling out of the 2020 INRC, sending shock waves through the Indian motorsport community. A natural fall out of that was their two drivers looking for alternate means to continue rallying in 2020. Having switched camps from MRF to JK Tyre in 2019, Gaurav Gill’s participation was a foregone conclusion with enhanced support from the tyre major. And now, following in the Arjuna Awardee’s footsteps, sources tell us that Amittrajit Ghosh is poised to switch to JK Tyre for the 2020 INRC.
While Mahindra Adventure will not field a factory effort in the 2020 INRC, they have offered both drivers use of the R2-spec XUV 300, which will be run by N Leelakrishnan’s Coimbatore-based Arka Motorsport. This levels the playing field out for Amittrajit Ghosh — in 2019 his XUV 300 was powered by the diesel engine while Gill’s car was the turbo-petrol. This year both XUV 300 are with the turbo-petrol engine.
Mahindra Adventure pulls out of INRC 2020. Click here for everything you need to know
In 2019, when Gaurav Gill made the shock move to JK Tyre, Amittrajit Ghosh had stayed loyal to MRF who were also team partners with Mahindra Adventure. This resulted in an interesting sight in the Mahindra pits where one car was on JK while the other ran on MRF.
When Amittrajit Ghosh switches camps to JK Tyre it should actually read as switching back to JK Tyre — much like how Gaurav Gill too switched back to JK. Ghosh started his motorsport career racing the FISSME in the JK Tyre National Racing Championship and won the 2005 racing championship. In 2006 he dipped his toes into rallying and in 2007 clinched the 1400cc championship in the Maruti Suzuki Esteem backed by JK Tyre. That marked him out as a young driver to watch out for and was snapped up by Red Rooster Racing where he spent three years learning the ropes from multiple national champion Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias.
Ghosh’s journey with MRF Tyres began in 2011 when Red Rooster pulled out of the INRC and it continued even after MRF pulled their factory team out of the INRC. The highlight of Ghosh’s rallying career remains the 2013 season where he clinched the Indian National Championship title in his privateer Mitsubishi Cedia with support from MRF Tyres. The following year he was snapped up by Mahindra Adventure and in between he also did a few rounds of the European Rally Championship, becoming the first Indian to do so.
With a similar spec car to Gaurav Gill it will be interesting to see if Ghosh can close the pace to his teammate in the 2020 INRC which kicks off this December.