India will see two drivers taking to F1 in 2014: Sharma
Chennai: India will have atleast two Indians driving at the Formula One circuit in 2014, believes Sanjay Sharma, Head of Motorsports of JK Tyre and Industries limited.
Launching the 16th edition of the JK Tyre National Racing championship here today, Sanjay said: "An awakening has happened and we have missed out during the last five years before F-1 came to India last year. And, these five years has cost us dearly and badly.
"We have the talents and with available technology I am sure we will be able to see two drivers taking to Formula One seat and three others waiting in their wings to get the coveted seat," he added.
Sharma said since last year`s Indian Grand Prix, things have changed a lot in the country for the sports.
"We have got systems in place and the whole scene has changed since F-1 coming to India. We will have four Indian talents getting to drive in the Formula Asia Series when it is held in Delhi`s BIC track," he said.
"This FIA accredited supported by JK Industries since last year made its European debut in France last weekend. Aditya Patel, who took to single seater racing after three year gap performed exceedingly well finishing sixth after starting in top ten. "The next race is slated to take place in world fampous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium."
Sharma said they got Asia series promoted to next levels this year.
"This is the only Junior Formula Racing series in the world that provides unique opportunity to the drivers to compete in front of people and run as a support race to big events like Formula One, Spa 24 hours endurance and GT-1.
Being elated about the standard of racing in India and its development as a sport, Sanjay expressed happiness that the Company has sustained the grind for 15 long years and the hard work has yielded desired results now.
"Almost over 100 seasoned and new drivers will be seen in action in different categories of events in its 16th Edition starting tomorrow at Kari Speedways in Coimbatore," he added.
Sharma said in tune with the company`s policy to raise the bar of the championship every year, this time the championship would witness faster cars, the most economical single seater racing car available anywhere across the world.
"Formula LGB 4 category have been added to the grid this season and investments have been made to ensure its stability and similarity between machines.
"The event will be flagged off from the second round (July end) of the six-round championship. The company has extended 40 per cent subsidy on total cost of the car to the drivers through the constructor of the vehicle," he said.
"Year on year, we have kept improving the standards of the championship be it in terms of technology or management. With faster and more powerful cars this year, we can expected a lot of nail-baiting action on the track. A record of 30 Formula LGB Four cars will make its debut while 20 drivers will complete the grid in the JK-Polo Cup event."
He took pride in the fact that the Super Saloon category (including the IJTC) would have a whopping 75 cars on the grid. "Starting with just eight cars five years ago, today we have massive interest among the drivers, which is the latest phenomena in Indian motor sport," he said.