Tata Motors drives forward truck extravaganza in India
This weekend some of the FIA ETRC favourites in action at the T1Prima Truck Racing Championship begins its fourth season.
Indian promoters of Truck racing have been inviting some of the best European drivers to take on local talent on their own turf for many years and this year, the first round takes place at the Buddh International circuit, the former home of the Indian F1 Grand Prix.
Norbert Kiss, Ryan Smith, Gerd Korber, Shane Brereton, Thomas Robineau, Antonio Albacete, David Vrsecky and Steffi Halm are all scheduled to be in action this weekend.
Tata Motors, made more famous globally recently as the owners of Jaguar - Land Rover, have traditionally been one of India’s largest truck makers. Founded in 1945, Tata Motors boasts 60,000 employees worldwide but it’s back in India that the company has chosen to make a foray into Motorsport using the biggest product in their fleet – trucks.
Tata created the Tata Racer Program , TRP, and engaged with a company called Motorsport Management headed by Vicky Chandhok, the former President of the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India who was instrumental in the running of the Indian F1 Grand Prix. Vicky takes up the story “Tata have a huge number of fleet owners across the country and from a business standpoint, getting them all to engage in the racing program was very important. They extended invitations to several fleet owners across India and we ended up with a pool of 240 drivers. The TRP program was then devised to filter this down to a final 12 drivers and this was a huge exercise.”
The TRP training program has run across a mammoth 50 days this year using a combination of circuits in Delhi and Chennai. The next race is this weekend and rather than have a group of one year wonders, the top 24 drivers from the TRP last year were invited back for a shoot out to determine the top 12 who will compete in a race called the ‘Champions class’ while a fresh batch of 240 drivers were also evaluated and filtered down to 12 to form the ‘Super class’.
We’ll bring you all the news of the action on Monday....