Tata's truck racing series is go!
Truckers ahoy! India's first truck racing series is here, courtesy Tata Motors
Truck launches are, unsurprisingly, not exactly TopGear's thing. Don't get us wrong, we do love our fair share of great big trucks (we've hooned a racing AMW, and challenged a Volvo tipper to a fight...and lost). Place the word "racing" at a truck launch, though, and we're onto something that's right up TopGear's street.
In a move that has awoken the truck racer in us, Tata Motors today announced the arrival of its truck racing series, christened the 'T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship'. It's the first time anyone's decided to take these beastly industrial creatures kerb-grazing in India. As it does in other parts of the world, the FIA will be overseeing proceedings, along with the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). Safety and performance guidelines as prescribed by the British Truck Racing Association (BTRA) will be followed.
Like the name suggests, it's a one-make series, and there will be a total of six teams participating, with a total of 12 Tata Primas being raced by professional truck racers. And these are not ordinary load-luggers being raced, no, sirs and mesdames. Get a load of this: the Prima being raced in this championship is powered by an 8.8-litre, inline-six diesel engine, that makes 370bhp, and a stump-uprooting 1,550Nm of torque. Yes, those figures will be dulled by the Prima's multi-ton mass, but it'll still do 110kph. The racing Prima's received 22 modifications, which includes changes to the fuel tank, brake cooling system, propeller shaft guards, exhaust, steering wheel, and the addition of racing seats and safety belts, to name some. And just to see if these new bits actually work, Tata's put them through rigorous testing at its facility in Jamshedpur.
Naturally, it's the deprived-of-F1-action-for-2014 Buddh International Circuit that will host the battle of the truckers on March 23, a day that will see two races - the first being the qualifier, followed by the actual race that'll have a rolling start.
TG's heard whispers about the concept of a pitstop being replaced with the dhaba-stop, wherein truckers will stop by for some makki di roti and sarson da saag. Where's the lassi? Tubed into the driver's helmet à la Formula 1, of course!
Time to bring out the Stig's desi cousin?