2022 TVS Young Media Racer Program Round 2: An invaluable lesson learnt – Times of India

While motorsports have come a long way as far as safety is concerned, but there’s no denying that it’s still one dangerous form of sport. I learnt it the hard way at the second round of TVS‘ Young Media Racer Program 6.0, held at Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai over the last weekend.
With many participants having to miss the second round due to other commitments, it was just 8 of us this time around, meaning higher chances of scoring more points. Geared up in the brand-new Petronas TVS Racing attire, all eight of us hit the track with much more confidence than before, having already been raced here at the Qualifying round of the season.
TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0 Round 2 – Practice & Qualifying
The first session was a 15-minute practice round to help us familiarise with the track conditions. While forecasts hinted at possible rainfall, weather gods were nice to us. Riding on bike number 8, I was quick to pass a few chaps and find myself some wide open space. However, I felt like I wasn’t doing fast lap times and believed that I could push a little harder – a silly mistake that cost me at the end.

When I was finally having a decent lap, I still slowed down for C10 – the tightest corner on the track, and my weakness. Also the corner that I was taking the easiest. Mid-way through the curve, I went off the track, onto the grass on the right hand side, and lost control of bike immediately. The next thing I know is I’m tumbling down, having no control of what happens next.
Fortunately, my head did not hit the ground and I also managed to avoid any major injuries. However, the impact still messed up my knee, and left trauma for my shoulder and wrist. The possible explanation for me crashing out? Target fixation. Something I’ve been worried about since my first day out on the track. The last thing I remember before falling down was me looking at the grass, and the next thing I know – I am in the grass!
The crash brought an end to my practice, and possibly also the entire weekend. I was deemed unfit by the medical team to take part in the qualifying session later that day. However, the 7 racers were still good to go, and for a change, it was fun actually watching them out there fighting each other out, trying to steal that pole position.


In the end, it was Karan Singh who was the fastest in qualifying with a lap time of 2:21.270, followed by Daniel Raj Kumar B in second, and Ishan Lee in third – with under 4 seconds separating the three.
TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0 Round 2 – Race
I still had a hope of somehow taking part in the race, which was to be held on Sunday. But neither did my fresh wounds allow me to do so, nor would the race control since I did not take part in the Qualifying. The only thing I could possibly do was to enjoy the race as a spectator.
Watching the riders launch their bikes, and fight each other for positions from get go was something that I thoroughly enjoyed for a change! A rather slow start from Daniel saw Mandar and Ishaan gain positions and battle it out with the provisional race leader Karan. In Karan’s own words, it was a dogfight between him and Ishan Lee for the win, with both riders consecutively switching the lead on almost every other corner.
In the end, it was Karan who managed to take the win with a total time of 11:53:563, with Ishan Lee right on his tail, just 0.475 seconds behind the race leader. Mandar Sawant comfortably grabbed the final podium position. The fact that all three podium scorers recorded a best lap time in the 2:19s highlights how close the battle out on the track actually was.

TVS YMRP 6.0 (1)

While it was all fun and games cheering for my fellow racers, I learned an invaluable lesson during the race weekend – it’s not always better to push harder, not even out on a racetrack. With the second round done and dusted, we eagerly wait for the third and the final round of the TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0, set to be held in the last week of September.
Stay tuned to TOI Auto for the race report of the last round, as well as the final standings of the season!

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