This is What Tata T1 Prima Truck Racing Winners are Made of!
Published On Mar 22, 2017
The fourth season of the Tata Motors T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship got off to a roaring start on March 19, 2017 at the
Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, UP. The fourth edition of the
only truck racing championship in the country saw both international as well
Indian truck drivers competing for top honours in three different categories.
The Pro-Racing Category saw participation from six different teams - Castrol Vecton, Cummins, Dealer Daredevils, Dealer Warriors, Tata Technologies Motorsports and new entrant One World Racing. 12 international truck racing drivers from various European countries were selected for these races.
The Super Class category comprised of ten Indian truck drivers selected through the T1 Racer Program 2.0 (TRP 2.0) driver training and selection process. Nearly 3,300 drivers were nominated for this category out of which 50 drivers received driver training at the Madras Motorsport Race Track (MMRT) in Siperumbadur, Chennai. Out of the 50 drivers, 20 qualified for On-Track Evaluation at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, UP out of which 10 were selected for the final race. The Champion Class consisted of the top 10 Indian racers from the previous edition of the T1 Prima Truck Racing.
The first race of the day saw the Super Class
drivers line up in black Tata Prima race trucks at the start-finish straight of
the BIC for a 10-lap race. The race trucks were equipped with a six-cylinder
Cummins diesel engine and put out 370 bhp of power and 1,550 Nm of torque with
an uprated braking system sourced from Wabco and semi-slick racing tyres
provided by JK Tyres. This category was won by Pitambar. Shivnihal Singh and
Gurujant Singh finished in second and third place respectively.
The 29-year-old Pitambar hails from Chandpur Kalan, Uttar Pradesh and is a long distance truck driver with 48 months of experience driving Tata’s Prima trucks. During his free time, he likes to travel and explore the country and also meet up with close friends for a long chat.
On the other hand, Shivnihal Singh, 40, has 72 months of experience driving the Prima, which he says is so comfortable making long-distance truck driving an easy affair. His occupation sees him driving his Prima truck for more than 9 hours at a stretch. Shivnihal says his free time is spent listening to music and meeting old friends in his village in Daswantpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Gurujant Singh from Gaura Pirpa, Uttar Pradesh has had 36 months of experience driving Tata’s trucks and aims at becoming a better truck racer. After the race, Gurujant Singh said he looks forward to next year’s edition and wants to finish higher up the order.
The second race of the day was the first 10-lap Pro-Class Race with international drivers. This race, which also featured the first woman racer to compete in India - Stephanie Halm - witnessed some aggressive driving by the top racers and had to be red flagged after the 8th lap due to two crashes involving Ryan Smith of Castrol Vecton and Adam Bint of Tata Technologies Motorsports at Turn 3 of the BIC. The first race was won by Dealer Daredevils’ Truck No 19 driven by David Vrsecky. Gerd Korber (Truck 22) of Team Dealer Warriors and David Jenkins (Truck 23) of Team Cummins finished second and third respectively.
The second and longer round of the Pro-Class race took place after the Champion Class race. The 15-lap race again had plenty of action and was red-flagged a couple of laps before the finish after Adam Bint of Tata Technologies Motorsports collided with Oly Janes of Dealer Warriors. David Vrsecky led from pole position and eventually won the race followed by Norbert Kiss of Tata Technologies Motorsports and Gerd Korber of Dealer Warriors.
David Vrsecky is a double European Truck Racing Champion (2008 and 2009). He began his truck racing career in the 2003 season of the Super Truck Championship. The 41-year-old drives a Freightliner for Buggyra International Racing System in the ETRC.
Norbert Kiss began his ETRC career in 2011 and is one of the younger racers in the championship. The Hungarian, like Vrsecky, is a double champion after winning the 2014 and the 2015 ETRC championship. He drive a MAN truck for the Oxxo Team.
Gerd Korber of Dealer Warriors is the 2013 Super Truck champion. The German is one of the most experienced truck racers in the European race circuit. In his inaugural ETRC Season 2017, he finished an impressive second in the overall standings. He currently drives an Iveco for Team Schwaben.
The highlight of the day, however, was the Champion Class race which comprised of last year’s Super Class winners driving in the Champion Class. Nagarjuna A was the best driver of the lot and had some impressive moves under his sleeve. This is his second win in as many years making him the fastest truck racer in the country. He took first place in Truck No 7 while second place went to Malkit Singh driving the Truck No 10. Bhag Chand driving Truck No 2 came third in the race. Compared to the Pro-Class races, the Champion Class race was pretty clean without any major incidents.
At 29, Nagarjuna A is one of the youngest truck racers in the country and hails from Kesarpali in Andhra Pradesh. He has 36 months of Prima experience under his belt and finds the truck extremely comfortable for long distance driving and says he can drive for 24 hours at a stretch. Quite a testament for the Prima trucks don’t you think? In his free time, Nagarjuna likes to catch up on his sleep and hang out with his close friends. He started his truck racing career with the aim of educating his sister and give her a good life.
Malkeet Singh from Uttar Pradesh is a 34-year-old truck driver with 24 months of Prima experience. He drives for 20 to 25 hours at a stretch and loves to go online and chat with his Facebook friends in his free time. He loves driving and hopes that through his hobby, he can give his children the education that can make them successful in life.
Thirty-six-year-old Bhag Chand hails from Guwandi Po-Ludpura, Rajasthan and is the most experienced Prima driver of the lot. He has more than 50 months of experience with Tata Prima trucks. Long distances are a piece of cake for this driver thanks to his vast experience driving across the country. His hobbies are driving and catching up with his close friends. With the T1 Racing Program, Bhag Chand hopes he can become successful in his career for the well-being of his family back in Rajasthan.
The day ended with the podium ceremony where each of the winners were presented with the trophies and cash prizes and an interactive session where the international and Indian truck racers shared notes and experience from the day’s races.
Article Contributed by - Nikil Jonathan.
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