ON THE face of it, it seems like a competition between the two big tyre companies. Although neither is ready to admit, the fact remains that two of the big changes in the last month or so in Indian motorsport circuit have come pretty close to each other.
Just a month ago, MRF announced their new Formula MRF 1600 cc to feature in their annual Touring Car championship. On Thursday, JK Tyre announced the introduction of pit stops (in Enduro with Formula Hyundai) in their National Championships. That apart, they said that it will be the first time that all the teams have got financial backing from companies.
The idea, both say, is to bring international quality racing to India.
"What we felt was that most of the cars that were racing in India were not of international class. They were indigenously produced. So we felt that it was necessary for us to import the best to India," a MRF spokesperson said.
The car that they will be using will be of 2007 specification and has been designed by Elan Motorsports.
However, when it will see the light of the day hasn't been decided as yet. "We will have to test the car before it can be used in our annual championship."
The JK Tyre-backed Nationals will have a new look. Apart from the Enduro with Formula Hyundai, where there will be pit stops for the first time, we'll see the introduction of reverse grids for the top eight teams like in GP2 series. There will be six rounds in Chennai and Coimbatore of two classes Formula LGB Swift and Formula Rolon Chevrolet.
Asked whether the changes were a reaction to MRF introducing their Formula MRF 1600 cc, JK Tyre's Vicky Chandhok, the brain behind the changes said, "No. There is no connection but I think it should make the races a bit more interesting."