Kishore promises to keep competition at bay again

The colour scheme of his Esteem may have changed but defending Super Saloons champion Siddharth Kishore (Performance Racing) insists his urge to keep winning has not changed as the 14th JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship gets under way at the Kari Motor Speedway near Coimbatore on June 18 and 19. 
 
“The only thing that has changed from last year is the colour scheme because we have a sponsor this year and have been able to put together a team of three cars each in the Super Saloons and Indian Junior Touring Car classes,” Kishore said on Friday, drawing attention to how his mindset has had to change as he is leading a team rather than be on his own.
 
“The car won’t be as up to the mark at the start of the new season as it was last year and is a second slower than other cars but I don’t think it will make a difference when the five lights go off,” Kishore said. “I know they are all gunning for me. But I have told myself that once on the track, I have to go flat out and make sure that I am consistent.”
 
His streak of seven successive victories last year forced his competition to focus on the second place. “I think that B Vijay Kumar and his son V Rajviruthan (Prime Racing) and Radha Selvaraj (Rad Racing) will be my main competitors,” he said.  It will also be interesting to see if N Leelakrishnan, who earned fame as a fiercely competitive rally driver in the 90s, will return to competitive sport this weekend or will wait for the second round next month.
 
The discontinuation of the Formula Rolon series has left the LGB Swift as the only Formula series in the National Championship. The grid for the Formula LGB Swift series will see TVS Girling’s Ameya Walavalkar and Wallace Sports’ Gautam Parekh – second and third respectively last year – being joined by Mecosports’ Vishnu Prasad, third in Polo Cup last year, and Chitesh Mandody, who had finished third last year in the Formula Rolon series.
 
Like the Super Saloons, the Formula LGB Swift class will see a race each on Saturday and Sunday, giving the teams ample time to fine-tune the machines after the first race. The Indian Junior Touring Car series and Volkswagen Polo Cup will see two races each on Sunday. 
 
Balavijay Kumar (MotoRev India) will bid to defend the Indian Junior Touring Car crown he won quite comfortably last year. Performance Racing hopes that its entries Rajarajan and Doraipandian will make things difficult for him as the season progresses.
 
Those who have seen the field of 23 drivers, including six from least season, come together believe that the competition in the Polo Cup will be tougher this time. Vishnu Prasad, third last time, and Ajay Kini, who emerged champion in the Formula Swift class, are expected to figure prominently this time around.
 
The inaugural Polo Cup season last year saw Sailesh Bolisetti and Parth Ghorphade being engaged in a keen battle for the top spot and this year the trials saw a whopping 1600 aspirants showcase their aspirations and skills. 
 
The season will also go down in history as the first in which a round will be held on a track beyond Chennai and Coimbatore with the Budh International Track in Greater Noida scheduled to host the series in October.