Coimbatore: Close on the heels of Aizawl FC’s fairy tale triumph in I-League, a bunch of teenagers from Mizoram’s capital are blazing a trail in Indian motorsport. Eight out of 13 bike racers in the JK Tyre Redbull Rookie Cup that got underway here on Saturday are from Aizawl, while the Suzuki Gixxer Cup has three participants from the city. Aged between 12 and 16, most of them are competing in a race for the first time.
“Everyone knows football is the most popular sport in our state, but racing events too attract a decent crowd. It’s very expensive for us to come all the way to Chennai and Coimbatore to race and there is no guarantee of making a career out of this sport, but all of us are serious and passionate about it,” said Zothanmawia, 15, who competes in the Red Bull Rookie Cup. The winner of the series will represent India at Road To MotoGP to be held in Spain.
The Mizoram Motorsport Association (MiMSA) is run by racing enthusiasts and doesn’t affiliate to the Federation of Motorsports Clubs in India (FMSCI). But they have been organising events for years in an abandoned airfield and also helping the riders financially, according Zothanmawia.
S. Anil Kumar, whose Bengaluru-based Apex Racing Academy spearheaded the talent hunt programme in Mizoram, said he was surprised to see the talent and enthusiasm. “The races are held in an abandoned airfield on a cliff, barricaded with tyres and cones. It’s so dangerous, but these young riders are fearless and naturally gifted. Our selection programme saw more than 150 riders taking part, but we could accommodate only 11 for this year,” added Anil.
Results: Euro JK 17 (Race 1): 1. Vishnu Prasad, 2. Nayan Chatterjee, 3. Anindith Reddy. Race 2: 1. Vishnu Prasad, 2. Anindith Reddy, 3. Nayan Chatterjee. LGB4 (Race 1): 1. Chittesh Mandody, 2. Diljith TS, 3. Saran Vikram. Gixxer Cup: 1. Joseph Mathew, 2. Sanjeev Mhatre, 3. Lalmawipuia. Road to Rookie Cup: 1. Jaden Gunawardena, 2. Lalhruaizela, 3. Lalnunsanga....