New Delhi: In a major move that could take Indian motorsport to the next level, JK Tyre on Friday announced the launch of a new racing series -- JK Racing Asia Series.
The championship will run under the patronage of JK Tyre brand but will remain under the management of Motorsport Asia, the biggest motorsport promoter and organiser in the continent.
The JK Racing series will showcase a line-up of drivers from all corners of the world including Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa. The race car will be christened Formula JK Tyre Pacific and will run on JK tyres.
The races will commence in April, the venues being Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia, China, Singapore and India. The series will consist of 18 races on six weekends in the 2011 season. On three occasions, the series will support Formula One Grand Prix in Malaysia, Singapore and the newly-built Jaypee International circuit in India.
The remaining three weekends will be part of the Asian Festival of Speed in Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The number of cars on the grid will be 30 out of which, 22 drivers have confirmed their participation. The two slots will be reserved for Indian drivers and Karting champion Raj Bharat has been finalised as one of the drivers.
The series will be a single seater series, where talented young drivers showcase their abilities to a wide group of motorsport enthusiasts.
The JK Racing Asia Series is the replacement series for the Formula BMW Pacific, which had been running successfully since 2003. Following a change in strategy for the BMW Motorsport programme in July 2010, Motorsport Asia put plans in place to continue the series in an independent form.
“JK Racing Asia series features an ultra-modern standard specification race car and a comprehensive training and intensive support programme for drivers. The series allows drivers as young as 14 to test their talent and developing their skills,” said Raghupati Singhania, vice chairman and managing director, JK Tyre and Industries Ltd.
“We are excited to be coming to India later this year to end our first race season with JK Tyre at the newly built Jaypee International race circuit. The series will make India the motorsport hub of Asia,” said David Sonenscher, CEO Motorsport Asia.
“F1 is coming to India this year. The launch of JK series, the two Indian drivers on the F1 radar bears testimony to this fact. 2011 truly is a year of Motorsport in India,” said Vicky Chandhok, President Federation of Motorsport Club of India.
JK Tyre is the first Indian company to sponsor any motorsports event at the international level.