Anindith Reddy Konda is the new champion of JK Tyre’s flagship racing series, as its 19th edition drew to a close at the Buddh International Circuit.
The former Volkswagen Vento Cup champion Anindith Reddy Konda will look back on his 2016 campaign in the Euro JK 16 series and notice a blip in the second round of the season that looked to put him out of contention for the title. Just five points out of a maximum of 40 in that round was preceded by a 33-point haul over the four races of the first round.
Three wins and a second place in round four gave him 38 points and put him back in the championship lead after round three. So just to make doubly sure nothing would go wrong, he went one better and won all four races in the final round of the championship at the BIC.
Title rivals Ananth Shanmugam and Nayan Chatterjee ultimately didn’t put up much of a fight despite the result sheets showing them three second places between them. That was mainly on account of Akhil Rabindra and Krishnaraaj Mahadik not being eligible for points and filling up the podium positions behind the new series champion.
Reddy Konda saw off the challenge of the two guest drivers who had been competing abroad with some very forceful overtaking maneuvers. The passing moves only became necessary due to the odd poor start that gave the Reddy Konda a little extra work to do. One such move in race three was particularly audacious as he dived to the right of both Rabindra and Mahadik going into turn three’s tight, right-handed hairpin.
Rabindra managed to hang with Reddy Konda while Mahadik was left to fight off Chittesh Mandody, a long-time competitor in the series that preceded the Euro JK 16’s upgraded cars.
And the upgrades were definitely palpable this time around. Lap-time gains of up to seven seconds a lap were seen on account of the increased top speed on the back straight as well as through the corners via stickier tyres and an updated gearbox with an auto-blip function for downshifts.
Fastest times dipped as low as 2min. 01.4sec around the 5.141km, 16-turn circuit but for pure grunt, the Euro JK 16 cars were not the top of the heap this weekend. That honour went to the 1000cc class motorcycles in the JK Superbike Cup where the fastest time was around a second faster than the best time achieved in the Euro JK 16 races. Even with four wheels, sticky rubber and single-seat racing car dynamics, it’s hard to argue against the acceleration of bikes that had about as much power as the Euro JK cars but weighed considerably less.
It also took some talented riders to keep the bikes stable in the corners. Simranjeet Singh had that in spades to lead the 1000cc riders to a win and a second place in the two races of the weekend. The second place finish during the last race of the weekend – and of the 2016 JK Tyre Racing Championship – was only on account of a very sore shoulder that saw him cede a win to Sandesh P, who he beat in the first race of the weekend. There was also a 600cc class that saw Deepak Ravikumar take a win and a second place in the category’s two races.
Credit for getting enough enthusiasts and professionals together to have a grid of 20 and 18 riders for the 1000cc and 600cc classes, respectively, goes to Ikjot Singh who is something of a lightning rod for bike nuts willing to take their machines out for a proper spin. Let’s hope we get another entertaining addition to national racing to go with the development racing series for the future.