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Racing dreams

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WANT TO BE THE NEXT MICHAEL SCHUMACHER?

If you’re already picturing yourself on the top step of the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, spraying champagne on your adoring team-mates, mechanics and fans, you probably ought to start with the JK Tyre National Racing Championship. It’s the country's ultimate national championship for circuit racers. You can pick from four different categories — Formula Swift, Formula Rolon, Super Saloon and Indian Junior Touring Cars. Powered by 1.3-litre stock Suzuki engines, Formula Swift is the entry-level single-seater class and it's no joke. If you're really good at that, perhaps you can graduate to the level of the big boys — the Formula Rolon category, the country's premium single-seater class powered by 1.3-litre race-prepped Suzuki engines. But if you want to race what you bought, you can opt to take part in either the Super Saloon Class or the Indian Junior Touring Car class. Hopped up Esteems, Balenos, Swifts, Zens and what have you!

WHERE?

You can race at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai, the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore and now even the Jaypee International Racing Circuit in Greater Noida.

INDIAN IDOLS

F1 drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok rose through these very ranks.

CONTACT

The Madras Motor Sport Club for further details: mmsc_chennai@yahoo.co.in

WANT TO BE THE NEXT TOM KRISTENSEN?

If you love tin-top racing, then the Volkswagen Polo Cup is just the thing for you. Technically, this one is a part of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship, but it's such a great series that we decided it deserved separate mention. The Polo Cup is a single-make racing championship. This means Volkswagen prepares a bunch of identical Race Polos and after a series of rather gruelling trials, selects a group of talented young racers to drive them. Everyone's pitted against each other in equal machinery, which puts the onus on the driver to a large extent. Remember, to take part in the Polo Cup you need to be under 24 years. The best part is that Volkswagen will train you in all aspects of racing, thus whipping you into shape rather well. The perfect place for a rookie to learn the ropes.

WHERE?

Again, the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai and the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Volkswagen has a whole host of street circuits on the cards, but it hasn’t revealed where.

INDIAN IDOLS

Sailesh Bolisetti. You probably haven't heard of him yet, but as the first ever winner of the Polo Cup India, he's earned himself a full season drive in the Scirocco Cup in Germany.

CONTACT

Write to the folks at Volkswagen for more details: polocup@volkswagen.co.in

WANT TO BE THE NEXT SEBASTIEN LOEB?

Plan on switching to the World Rally Championship once you're done with F1, like Kimi Raikkonen did? You need to start preparing and a step towards that goal is the Speed Indian National Rally Championship. Begin in the Rally Star Cup class, before making your way up the ladder to the 1400cc, 1600cc, 2000N and 2000N+ classes. Or, you could rally in the ever-popular Gypsy Class. Thanks to the mixed terrain in India, you’ll gain experience in tarmac, gravel and dirt stages too. Starting out as a privateer isn’t a bad idea — so long as you have a good mechanic and have read the rule book thoroughly.

WHERE?

Six rounds in 2011— Durgapur, Nashik, Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Bhubaneshwar.

INDIAN IDOLS

Gaurav Gill — the only Indian to have won rounds of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and scored points in the Production World Rally Championship.

CONTACT

The Federation of Motor Sport Clubs in India: fmsci@vsnl.com

WANT TO BE THE NEXT VALENTINO ROSSI?

Vale was probably still in pre-school when he started racing Mini Motos. You might be a little late, but if you want to get to MotoGP someday, we suggest you sign up for the MMSC National Motorcycle Racing Championship right away. You can start racing in the one-make Honda Twister races, or perhaps in the Yamaha R15 novice races. Later, there are plenty of categories to pick from — Group B 4-stroke and 2-stroke classes. And then, the ultimate category of two-wheeler racing in the country — the Group A up to 750cc class!

WHERE?

Madras Motor Race Track and Kari Motor Speedway in Chennai and Coimbatore, respectively.

INDIAN IDOLS

Sarath Kumar, who will make his MotoGP debut in the 125cc category this year, and K Rajini who competes in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

CONTACT

The Federation of Motor Sport Clubs in India: fmsci@vsnl.com 

WANT TO BE THE NEXT GUIDO SALA?

As much as you'd like to believe that playing F1 2010 gives you the requisite credentials to graduate to the real deal, it doesn't. Sure, it's one way to learn your way around famous race tracks, but what you need is actual track time. Trying your hand at the JK Tyre Rotax National Karting Championship is the best way for you to begin. Karting gives you all the skills you need for both four-wheel and two-wheel racing. It gives you stamina and endurance, teaches you racing lines, helps you learn race tracks too. Heck, the likes of Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi still go karting during off season to keep them race-ready!

WHERE?

The National Karting Championship takes place at the Kari Motor Speedway and the Mohite's Racing circuit in Kolhapur.

INDIAN IDOLS

Again, F1 drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok as well as F2 driver Armaan Ebrahim.

CONTACT

Meco Motorsports in Chennai: meco.motorsports@yahoo.com