WILL IT SLIDE?
evo India|May 2021
Only one way to find out…
SIRISH CHANDRAN

TRAVEL CRUNCHES UNDER THE TYRES OF the Lexus and birds chirp their joy at the rising sun as we trundle through the pit lane of the Kari Motor Speedway. In normal course the ES 300h’s pure electric mode would be the party piece and the deafening silence of the powertrain does afford us an opportunity to creep up to the parabola without disturbing the flock of peacocks that have descended on what used to be the first corner. Back when I reported on the racing championship, the inside of the parabola was where I would park myself to snap the guaranteed first corner mayhem. Tin-tops, four abreast, a battle of wits on the brakes, and at least one car leaving behind a bumper along with a sizeable chunk of said driver’s ego. Single seaters, the lack of bodywork making the hotshots a little more circumspect into turn 1, yet my amateur fingers once snapped a car flying through the air, upside down at that, and driven by no less than the man behind this track B Viji.

That’s the thing about race tracks. Every inch of tarmac has a story to tell. And there’s history under all those layers of bitumen. These are hallowed grounds. Before it became a race track this was the runway where S Karivardhan flew his microlights. An engineering genius and universally hailed as the father of Indian motorsport, he was responsible for making single seaters reliable and affordable, kicking off the careers of scores of Indian racers including Narain Karthikeyan.

Fast forward to the 25th year of his death anniversary, when the world turned upside down. Work from home. Our partners cutting our hair. Going nuts doing the dishes. But while we were praying for a dishwasher, the guys at the Kari Motor Speedway were hard at work. They used the forced downtime to not just resurface the track but implement massive changes. A new sequence of corners at the start. A completely new back section. Chopping off the Mickey Mouse section. A new drag strip. And B Viji and his team did all this without so much as a murmur. We didn’t hear a thing.

IN NORMAL COURSE THE ES 300H’S PURE ELECTRIC MODE WOULD BE THE PARTY PIECE

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM EVO INDIAView All

IT'S A JEEP THING

The mighty Wrangler is as capable as ever and now it’s made right here in India

10 mins read
evo India
May 2021

ICON - RUF RTURBO

More powerful than Porsche’s contemporary GT2, the 347kmph Rturbo was once the fastest new production car money could buy. Today, almost two decades later, it remains as desirable as ever

10+ mins read
evo India
May 2021

HEAVY HITTERS

Goldy Nagdev has a seriously impressive fleet of enthusiast-cars at his disposal, and the Thar is the latest one to join the lot. Where does it fit in to his garage?

7 mins read
evo India
May 2021

THE GENIUS OF KARI

A beautiful balance of power vs grip marks out the McDowell 1000, the last indigenous sports car to be raced in India and a reminder of the engineering genius that was S Karivardhan. We drive one of only two still in existence

6 mins read
evo India
May 2021

“THIS WILL DEFINITELY DRIVE LIKE A VOLKSWAGEN”

Says managing director of SAVW, Gurpratap Boparai, the man helming the technical, engineering and production teams that brought the mid-size SUV to production

3 mins read
evo India
May 2021

WILL IT SLIDE?

Only one way to find out…

6 mins read
evo India
May 2021

DEAR ENTHUSIAST

A barrage of enthusiast-focused hatches have come, and we’re at your service to tell you which one is best

10 mins read
evo India
May 2021

BLOODLINE

From ’60s Daytona through to today’s 812 Superfast, Ferrari has offered an unrivalled series of front-V12 powered super-GTs. We drive five of the best

10+ mins read
evo India
May 2021

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

The Trans Arunachal Drive 2021 was a road trip of epic proportions through the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and what better way to explore it than from behind the wheel of the Mahindra Thar

4 mins read
evo India
May 2021

Future Is SUVW

With the Taigun at its core, Volkswagen India are doubling down on their SUVW strategy for India

5 mins read
evo India
May 2021