Audience wowed by the Etios Motor racing car at its inaugural exhibition races
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Recently, Toyota Kirloskar Motors flagged off its inaugural exhibition race with Etios Motor Racing (EMR) cars treading the circuit, as a prelude to the racing series, which will be later introduced in the country in 2013. The event garnered great response from the masses and the guest drivers included some esteemed names from the field of motorsports like Ben Collins. However, the major attraction of the event remained the Etios Motor Racing (EMR) car, which was applauded not only by the selected 25 drivers but by the well-known experts as well. The car maker showcased the new car in the two exhibition races, held at MMRT track in Sriperumbudur in Chennai on August 4 and 5, 2012.
The exhibition races were mainly targeted at promoting the upcoming Etios Motor Racing Series, which is a six-round one make championship. Toyota Kirloskar Motor will now organise the second round of exhibition race at the famed Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, during the first week of October.
The new EMR car replete with MRF ZLO racing tyres and is powered by a 1.5 litre powertrain, which somehow managed to wow the audience. The motorsports experts were equally floored by the performance delivered by the car in every possible aspect. Famed British driver, Ben ‘Stig’ Collins was all praises for the car after taking it for spin on the track. Collins stated, “I am quite impressed with the car, the handling and the grip levels. This car is best suited for entry-level racing.”
Red Rooster Performance workshop, Bengaluru is the place, wherein the EMR cars are being manufactured with Narayanaswamy Leelakrishnan, National rally champion, spearheading the project. The racing avatar of Etios model has been stripped of several trinkets, which are present in the regular variant, including the rear and front passenger seats to reduce the car’s overall weight.
However, the car faced a little criticism owing to its softer suspension, which led to a jumpy ride while going through several bumpy corners and thus, for better cornering the need for stiffer suspensions was felt. The car also happens to be little less endowed on power front, which in turn affected the top speed; however, it was perfect for the drivers making leeway into racing career and making a shift from go-karting to actual track racing.
The debut exhibition races witnessed 19-year old, Diljith Shaji from Thrissur, Kerala, who emerge as a victor in both the races. This came as no surprise given the fact that he has some experience at Indian junior touring car racing. Earlier, on August 4, 2012, TKM announced the names of the 25 drivers selected out of 3,000 aspirants through rigorous selection process to qualify for the event.
Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Hiroshi Nakagawa, was buoyed by the success of the event and said, “It’s seen as an ideal grass-roots category to learn and make their way up the motorsport ladder. We will continue to contribute to Indian motorsports in the future.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Vice-Chairman, TKM, Vikram Kirloskar, quoted, “The overwhelming response we got for the driver selection is a proof that a lot of Indian youngsters are ready to take up motorsport as a profession.” While, the preluding exhibition races managed to achieve the purpose of their initiation, it is left to see whether the Etios Motor Racing will be able to match the popularity of Volkswagen Polo R Cup.
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