We are pleased to launch a new RC Off-Road Racing series for India. Organized RC car racing started in India back in 2009. We have had several races in the following years around the country. We understood that there was a vacuum in India’s RC racing scene – continuity of racing events and ranking system of racers. Lack of continuous national level and club races leaves a big gap in the sport for enthusiasts. We are unable to remain competitive due to the long duration between each race. Our exposure to international racing and feedback from our RC well-wishers from Malaysia, USA and Thailand pointed in one direction. Racing, Racing and more Racing!
So we put our minds to create a platform for Indian racers to attend continuous races over a calendar year. The Indian RC Dirt Series is the brainchild of 3 hard-core RC enthusiasts – Bharath Penmatcha, Murali Kannadhason and Ajo joseph.
The Indian RC Dirt Series is like no other race that has been conducted in India. The series will be run over multiple pre-determined rounds. It will also incorporate a F1 style point system to rank drivers across different categories. This will allow a Series Champion to be decided for each class at end of the season. We strongly believe this will bring in more competition to the racing scene and will motivate Begginers. It will also encourage racers to attend future rounds and benchmark themselves. We also hope this will motivate promoters to build new tracks and popularize racing.
Round 1 – Report:
Round 1 was conducted in August 2013 at Axles Raceway in Hyderabad. Axles Raceway is India’s premier RC racing facility. It has great surface with proper underground drainage that was unseen in India before. Lane width is about 16 feet and overall length is about 900 feet. The track has good jumps and plenty of elevation changes. They have a 20 feet container type driver stand and the latest Mylaps RC4 and RC Scoring Pro timing system. Axles also promote ATV, 5th scale racing, full scale off-roading and have a nice Hobby store catering to Traxxas Cars and shortly for 1/8 Buggies.
Friday – Practice:
Round 1 was scheduled as a 3 day event. Practice on Friday, Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday for Finals. We started well with some light showers the previous day. The showers were a blessing in disguise as it helped with the traction. Practice went as planned.
Saturday – Qualifying:
Saturday was much brighter and with no sign of rain, we were able to quickly start with the qualifying sessions. Since we have multiple classes and lesser drivers, we use a simple qualifying system. The fastest lap was used as the qualifying system for the Finals Grid position. We have 6 classes: Nitro Buggy Expert, Nitro Truggy, Nitro Buggy Amateur, Short Course Truck, eBuggy and Monster Trucks. As the Nitro Buggy Expert class attracts the highest numbers, fastest 8 drivers move to finals and another 3 battle it out in a Last Chance Qualifier to earn a place in the 11 car grid. Nitro Buggy Expert is the most competitive class in India today. We had 17 drivers in that class. Buggy Amateur had 10 drivers with mostly RTR Buggies. eBuggies comes next with 13 drivers.
Sunday – Finals:
Light showers helped the day to remain cool. The short course class and eBuggies were done first. They had 10 minute finals. eBuggies saw a lot of competition and switching of positions. Siddharth Salian, Satish G and Ankush Yeturu were placed top 3 after an intense race. In the Short course class, Kapil Jolly, Ashwin Aithal and Murali Kannadhason were top 3. Buggy Amateur class was next and ran a 30 minute finals. We saw Mahendra Kiran and Gurvir Singh taking lead initially and heading for a comfortable win. Minutes later, Mahendra and Gurvir faced with issues and fell behind. Dhinesh K.K took the lead and lapped the others in form to finish first. Pragati Kumar drove consistently and finished second and Mahendra third.
As we got prepared for the Truggy Class, the weather gods decided to be unkind and lashed us with torrential rain. We had to call off the remaining finals as the clouds did not seem to relent. It was decided unanimously that the results for remaining 3 classes be withheld. Points were awarded to the classes that we conducted Finals. We maintain the Points Tally to decide on a Series Champion after 3 rounds.
Round 2 of the Series has been scheduled for October. We look forward to better weather conditions this time and a great weekend of racing. With this series we hope to advance our skills and take on the international RC scene with greater confidence. Our dream is to have a strong Indian contingent at the World Buggy Championship by 2018.