With round four of the J. K. Tyre NRC having moved to the Kari Speed Way, it meant that the riders had to fiddle with the bike’s settings to suit the tight corners of the Coimbatore track as opposed to the fast flowing Chennai circuit. For the experienced riders however, it wasn’t going to be very difficult – thanks to the innumerable number of track days these guys organize at Kari. Qualifying was as tricky as the weather around Coimbatore during this time of the year. A constant drizzle gave the riders wet tarmac to qualify on. Alok Shashidhar took the pole for the 1000cc category by setting an overall benchmark of 1.12.232 for others to follow. K. V. Balaji who took P2 overall, was the fastest 600cc class rider for the qualifying session.
Since Race One was to happen as per schedule on Saturday evening itself, some riders decided to take a gamble by sticking to rain-spec tyres for added advantage on the wet track. However as the race began, the tricky weather conditions came into play again – leaving the riders with a completely dry track to ride on. As the five lights went off, the bikes roared their way down the start-finish straight. Within a corner or two, Vivek Pillai used the might of his 600RR in the tight corners and took the lead ahead of Alok’s R1. As the race progressed, he opened the lead further. Meanwhile Poncho who was also contending in the 600cc Expert category was having a hard time with his 2CT (rain spec) tyres, which were reducing his pace on the dry track. Emmanuel Jebraj, who had started from the back of the grid due to qualifying problems, made his way through the rest of the pack and in no time was on Pillai’s tail. Though Jeba was carrying more pace, he hung onto this position for three laps to build pressure on Vivek.
With the final two laps to go, he made his move by out-braking Vivek in a corner and taking the lead all the way to the chequered flag. In the 600cc Novice category, Balaji converted his P2 into a race win – ahead of P3 rider Sumit Lucas who lost a couple of positions, but regained them in the end. Racing Lass Alisha, who too was suffering from a bad tyre choice hung in throughout the race to take the final spot on the podium. Alok who won the 1000cc category, was in a race of his own, as no other rider from hi category was even close to him. He was joined on the podium by Sanjay Kumar and Ramji Govindrajan. Race 2 was in complete contrast to the first race. The only drama that happened was an unfortunate incident where ace rider Poncho crashed aboard his 600RR and ended up with a fracture in his hand. For the rest of the racers, it was business as usual. Unlike race one, Jebba overtook Vivek within the first couple of laps itself and raced away to a comfortable finish.
The classification for both the races is as follows –
- Race1 K. V. Balaji, Sumit Lucas, Alisha Abdullah
- Race2 Sumit Lucas, K. V. Balaji, Alisha Abdullah
- Race1 Emmanuel Jebraj, Vivek Pillai, S. Gopinathan
- Race2 Emmanuel Jebraj, Vivek Pillai, Praveen Keerthi
- Race1 Alok Shashidhar, Sanjay Kumar, Ramji Govindrajan
- Race2 Alok Shashidhar, Sanjay Kumar, Prakash Murali
01. 1000cc Open Class, Race 2(L-R):
- Sanjay Kumar, Alok Shashidhar, Prakash Murali
02. 600cc Novice Class, Race 2(L-R):
- K. V. Balaji, Sumit Lucas, Alisha Abdullah
03. 600cc Expert Class, Race 2 (L-R):
- Vivek Pillai, Emmanuel Jebaraj, Praveen Keerthi
04. 600cc Expert Class, Race 1 (L-R):
- Vivek Pillai, Emmanuel Jebaraj, Poncho