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

Motorsports has come a long way as far as safety is concerned, but there is no denying that it is still a dangerous form of sport. I learned it the hard way in the second round TVS‘ Young Media Racer Program 6.0, held at Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai last weekend.
Many participants had to miss the second round due to other commitments, this time there were only 8 of us, which means higher chances of getting more points. Dressed in brand new Petronas TVS Racing livery, all eight of us hit the track with a lot more confidence than we’ve already raced here in the season’s qualifying rounds.
TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0 Round 2 – Practice and Aptitude
The first session was a 15-minute practice round which helped us get acquainted with the track conditions. While the forecast indicated possible rainfall, the weather gods were good for us. Riding on bike number 8, I was quick to pass some chaps and find myself some open space. However, I felt like I wasn’t doing a fast lap time and believed I could push a little harder – a silly mistake that cost me in the end.

When I was finally taking a good lap, I still slowed down for the C10 – the tightest corner of the track, and my weakness. Also the corner that I was taking the easiest. In the middle of the curve, I went off the track on the grass on the right hand side, and immediately lost control of the bike. The next thing I know is that I’m falling down, with no control over what happens next.
Fortunately, my head did not hit the ground and I also managed to avoid any major injuries. However, the impact still sore my knee, and left trauma to my shoulder and wrist. Possible explanation for my crash? Goal setting. I’ve been somewhat worried since my first day on the track. The last thing I remember before I fell was I was looking at the grass, and next thing I know – I’m in the grass!
The accident put an end to my practice, and possibly an entire weekend. I was deemed ineligible by the medical team to participate in the qualifying session later that day. However, the 7 racers were still good to go, and for a change, it was actually fun watching them fight each other, 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 – separating all three within 4 seconds.
TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0 Round 2 – Race
I still hoped to somehow take part in the race on Sunday. But neither my fresh wounds let me do that, nor did I control the race because I had not competed in qualifying. The only thing I could possibly do was enjoy the race as a spectator.
Watching riders launch their bikes, and fight each other for positions from the get go was something that I thoroughly enjoyed for a change! Daniel’s slow start saw Mandar and Ishaan gain positions and fight with Provisional Race Leader Karan. In Karan’s own words, it was a dogfight between him and Ishaan Lee for the win, with both the riders consistently taking the lead at almost every other corner.
In the end, Karan managed to take the win with a total time of 11:53:563, with Ishan Lee just 0.475 seconds behind the race leader. Mandar Sawant comfortably secured the final podium position. The fact that all three podium scorers recorded their best lap times in the 2:19s shows how close the fight actually was on the track.

TVS YMRP 6.0 (1)

While it was all fun and the sport was upbeat for my fellow racers, I learned an invaluable lesson during race weekend – it’s always better to push harder, not even on the racetrack. With the second round over and the dust set, we are eagerly looking forward to the third and final round of TVS Young Media Racer Program 6.0 which is scheduled to be held in the last week of September.
Stay tuned to TOI Auto for final round race reports as well as the season’s final standings!