Toyota Selects Drivers for Inaugural Etios Racing Series

By | June 18, 2012

Three camps were held to arrive at the final 25 drivers
– The candidates were selected by a team of experts
– These drivers will drive at 2 Exhibition Races in 2012 and the EMR Series 
in 2013 Bangalore, 11 June 2012: The nationwide hunt for the final driver line-up of the Etios Motor Racing (EMR) Series ended last weekend after 40 young racing hopefuls battled it out in the Etios Motor Racing cars. The selected 25 will be driving the Etios in its racing avatar this year at the Exhibition races in August and October, and next year at the inaugural season of Toyota’s single-make racing series, according to a Press Release here on Monday

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The entire selection process was well-planned and thorough in order to select the most talented racers in the country belonging to the age group of 15 to 24 years old. These drivers will go on to compete at the Etios Motor Racing Series and in turn will also have bigger and brighter opportunities opened up to them in the field of racing both in India and overseas.

Commenting on the EMR driver training programme, Mr. Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director-Marketing, said, “We had young aspiring racing drivers from all over India, and it was truly heartening to witness the passion and enthusiasm they showed for motorsport at the various EMR camps. In fact this further emphasizes the purpose of an initiative such as this for motorsports in the country. An experienced team put their heads together to select the driver line-up for the EMR Series, and will continue to partner us to hone the driving skills of the young talent the country has to offer. This is only the beginning, and we have a lot of excitement in store, starting with the exhibition races in August and October this year.”

Driver Selection Process

Camp 1 
A record number of 3300 online registrations was received which were sifted through to get to a number of around 900 eligible participants. They were then invited to compete in the first round of auditions in four cities – Pune, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.
The arduous task of selecting 70 young drivers from around 900 was given to experts in the field of racing and rallying – Leelakrishnan, Farad Bhathena, Nawaz Sandhu, Karandeep Sandhu, Amittrajit Ghosh and Karna Kadur.

As selections were held across the country at different tracks, the following was put into place to achieve the intended result:

  1. Tracks at all venues were redesigned by Red Rooster Racing to bring out driver skills
  2. Benchmark lap time on each track was set for reference
  3. Each participant drove eight laps
  4. Each participant was rated on 10 by the evaluators

Camp 2
The top 70 competitors were put through a more rigorous second round of selections where they were individually trained and judged by five top evaluators/ instructors with a motorsport background – Leelakrishnan, Ram Narayan, Rahul Kantharaj, Karna Kadur and Anish Rathnam. The camp was held over two days in Bangalore with a total of three rounds for a batch of five candidates in each round.
Participants were judged on their go-kart driving skills with importance given to their lap times and consistency in lap times in Camps 1 and 2.

Camp 3
40 drivers were selected from Camp 2 who then went on to attend Camp 3 where for the final selection and training with the Etios Motor Racing cars. The participants were driving the EMR cars for the first time, hence were put through extensive training sessions over two days at the Madras race track (MMSC), and mentored by acclaimed motorsport drivers – Leelakrishnan, Ram Narayan, Rahul Kantharaj, Amittrajit Ghosh and Karna Kadur. The final 25 drivers (+10 reserves) were selected based on the consistency in lap timings and fastest lap timings set by the competitor on the race track.

About Etios Motor Racing (EMR)
Continuing the Company’s global legacy of motorsports, the EMR tourney will be supported by one of the most accomplished and acclaimed engineering companies in motorsport history – TRD(Toyota Racing Development), the corporate brand from the Toyota affiliate, Toyota Technocraft Co. Ltd. The EMR Series that is slated to be held in the second half of 2013 will be based on a single-make racing championship platform. The cars will be FIA qualified with racing parts supplied by TRD, and their technical expertise will be utilized throughout the series.

Toyota will also partner and work closely with Indian motorsport experts, Red Rooster Racing (International) Pvt., Ltd. based in Bangalore, with Leelakrishnan former racing and rallying champion at the helm.

MRF – pioneer of motor racing in India, DENSO – a Toyota affiliate that manufactures auto parts,and Savita – sole distributor of Idemitsu Oil products in India are now on board as‘Official Partners’ for EMR in 2012.

The Etios racing platform will help talented young racers develop their skills, and further train them to gain a competitive edge for their future in motorsports. They will be mentored by experts in the field, and will be given an opportunity to compete amongst the best in the country. This series will not only highlight the technological prowess of the manufacturer, but also the endurance levels of the Etios and the ‘fun to drive’ aspect of the vehicle.For updates and information on Etios Motor Racing, please visit http://toyotaetiosmotorracing.in/