As roaring race cars took position on a red dirt track and the first round began, local people and hundreds of visitors from Kolkata cheered at the top of their voices. It was not just because these races are rarely organised in West Bengal, but also because a vivacious energy and adrenaline rush had successfully animated the crowd.
The third season of JK Tyre Bengal Speed Fest was recently organised by the Motorsports Association of Eastern India (MSAEI) at Haldia for two days and Kolkata riders couldn’t be happier. Unlike many other races, this event was a combination of four-wheeler autocross, gymkhana and two-wheeler dirt track, including East Zone Qualifier of the Indian National Autocross Championship.
A total of 30 bikes and 35 cars participated in the race. Eight categories were created based on the engine capacity and modification of the vehicles. A separate event was organised for amateur riders.
Chief organisers Saurav Chatterjee and Sk Ajgar Ali said that along with making people, especially the youth, aware of regulated motorsports, they wanted to turn the modern youth away from illegal road races. “Safety is of paramount importance and autocross is not just about speed. One has to match a certain standard with their driving or riding skills and physical stamina. Besides, encouraging budding young talent was another intention,” said Saurav Chatterjee, president of MSAEI.
My Kolkata shares glimpses from the event
The finale of the 260cc modified category was exciting to say the least. Six riders reached the finale and displayed their extreme precision, skills and speed.
This is auto gymkhana, a race where participants go through a number of hurdles to reach the finishing line.
The open category was all about skill and speed. Saddam Ali, who was driving the car in picture, was announced the winner after he completed the two-kilometre track in just 1.33 minutes.
The 260cc stock category finale was about skills and body fitness. Since the bikes were unmodified, the riders had to depend on their riding skills to boost their performance. Suhail Ahamed completed the race with the best timing.
It was the 165cc qualifier round and Kolkata-based rider Dwairath Manna surprised everyone with his skills.
The seniormost rider of the event, Manmeet Singh Dhanjal, finished as the first runner-up in the 165 category. It was one of the most exciting races of the event.
Rider Barno Barman didn’t let go of a chance to show off in the 260cc modified category qualification race. "It was a high cc race and we competed with several professional racers. The overall experience was absolutely great," he said.