A lot of young motorsport enthusiasts wish that they could become race car drivers. But most haven’t a clue how to go about it. You need a race car, to begin with, and a team of mechanics. Add to that the cost of transporting things to racetracks for the duration of an event, the entrance fee and the like and you realise it’s expensive and a lot of hard work. But things are slowly becoming easier, with the one-make racing series that have cropped up in India.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
To begin with, there’s the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup, which kicked off for the first time in 2010. And now there is also the option of taking part in the upcoming Toyota Etios Racing Series.
WHAT DO YOU GET TO DRIVE?
The Volkswagen Polo R-Cup allows young racers to get behind the wheel of the Race Polo, a driving review of which you can read on this page.
The Etios Racing Series will allow drivers to pilot either the Etios Racing sedan or the Etios Liva hatchback.
WHERE DO YOU GET TO DRIVE?
The Volkswagen Polo R-Cup races take place at three main venues — the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai and the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. While Toyota hasn’t yet confirmed the venues for the Etios Motor Cup, there is a chance that in addition to these three tracks, it will include street tracks, too.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND, THEN?
While the Polo R-Cup has been around since 2010, with the series gradually growing bigger and expanding, grabbing more eyeballs with each passing year, Toyota only officially unveiled its Etios Racing challengers at this year’s Auto Expo. The company has conducted demonstration races so far at venues like Chandigarh and Bangalore and will shortly be announcing a more detailed season calendar for the official series start, which happens in 2013.
HOW DO YOU TAKE PART?
Registering for either series isn’t too hard. You can log on to www.polocup.in and www.toyotabharat.com to read up and register for either of the series.
IS THERE A SELECTION PROCESS?
Yes, indeed there is. Both championships have similar processes of elimination. Drivers are shortlisted zone-wise and invited to take part in go-karting sessions, all under the supervision of able instructors. The slower drivers are eliminated and the zonal qualifiers go head-to-head in another karting challenge. Drivers are then shortlisted and given a go in actual race cars, and it’s the fastest ones from here that get picked to take part in the final championship.
WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF IT?
To begin with, all you do is get in the car and drive! There is also the advantage of being trained by the best in the world of motorsport — all of which ensures you progress through the ranks and eventually, if you’re serious about it, you can take up motorsport professionally. Winners of such championships usually get a drive in a series abroad. So if you’ve been dreaming of being a boy racer, now’s a good time to do something about it!