The fourth round of the JK Tyre-FMSCI National Rotax Max Karting Championship gets underway here Saturday with 33 young drivers in the fray and the competition is expected to get stiffer with the series at the halfway mark.
The six-round CIK/FIA-approved championship, promoted by Meco Motorsports, has over the years developed into a nursery of Indian racing talent. The series is the first and critical rung of the racing ladder that eventually opens up avenues to reach higher levels of the sport.
The eventual winners of the series will participate in the World Championship that will bring together National champions from some 55 countries.
The championship has three categories - Senior Max (16 years and above), Junior Max (13-16) and Micro Max (8-12) - and has attracted some of the best young racing talent in India. The break-up is: eight in Micro Max, 13 in Junior Max and 12 in Senior Max. The grids are almost the same as in the previous round held at Coimbatore last month.
Saturday, the qualifying and two Heats in each category will be held while the Pre-Final and Final rounds are scheduled for Sunday.
Kush Maini (Maini Racing), hailing from Bangalore, has dominated the Micro Max class and heads the leaderboard with 178 points, 15 clear of second placed Pradyumna Danigond (Mohite’s Racing Academy).
Making waves in the Micro Max class is Mira Kirit Erda, the 10-year old schoolgirl from Vadodara, who has proved to be a tough competitor.
The competition is much closer in the Junior Max category that has Jehan Daruvala (Rayo Racing) in the lead with 255 points as against 249 of Arjun Maini (Maini Racing).
In the Senior Max category, although Kolhapur’s 17-year old Chittesh Mandody (Mohite’s Racing Academy) leads the pack with 259 points from two wins and a second place finish, the others are not far behind with Chennai’s A Sandeep Kumar (Meco Racing) just 18 adrift in second place.
The Rotax Max series was introduced in India in 2004 by Meco Motorsports with JK Tyre as the title sponsors. It was subsequently accorded National Championship status in 2009.