From road to race track to field: Tata Prima title sponsor for Kings XI Punjab this Indian Premier League (IPL)
Mr. Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “Cricket is as pervasive and inherently connected to Indian psyche as our trucks are a part of the country’s DNA. We, at Tata Motors, are delighted to be a part of the Indian Premier League – that continues to remain one of the most exhilarating cricket tournaments – through the partnership with Kings XI Punjab team, one of the most exciting franchises in the IPL for this upcoming season, with players such as VirendraSehwag, C Pujara, S Marsh and many others. We bring the same passionate commitment to our customers as this star line-up brings to their cricket. We wish ‘The Lions’ the very best for this season of IPL.”
In March 2014, Tata Motors hosted the first truck race at Buddh International Circuit, T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship. The BIC event with 6 races of TVS and Honda One Make Championship, 2 races of adrenaline fueled trucks and various artists performing live on the grid, on top of trucks offered a great deal to those who attended.
Race day began with TVS and Honda bikes competing in the country’s One Make Championships. The races were safe and displayed promising future for budding moto-racers in India. As soon as the mammoths on Indian trucking took to the starting grid, it was a step to something new here. Ben Horne claimed pole position in the sprint race, but was pushed out of the corner in lap 1 by Stuart Oliver. Gravel outside of that corner embraced a set of 315s on the back of Ben Horne’s truck for a short while and eventually let them go, which put him far behind. A bid to catch up ensued but he didn’t make it to podium. Rest of the trucks were closely packed all through the 5-lap sprint. Two time BTRC champion Steve Horne also joined in the qualifying and sprint races as he raced the Prima on track.
For the 15-lap main race, the grid was reshuffled based on sprint race results, which allowed Stuart Oliver to take pole. David Jenkins was an intense match against Oliver. And while his truck chuffed and slithered, Oliver prevailed. Mathew Summerfield led for a while with both Castrol Vecton’s trucks trying to race ahead. Dave Jenkins was sixth at the time, but soon the order changed.
Richard Collet’s machine got hurt in the battle causing it to screech at every corner, warranting attention from shutterbugs every time. Finally, Steve Oliver made donuts on track claiming victory, followed by Dave Jenkins and Mathew Summerfield.
For audience entertainment, artists Salim-Sulaiman and Sivamani performed live on truck-back, and Sanjay Shetty’s troupe of dancers put up a colourful and spirited show. Mika Singh concluded the day at BIC by making almost everyone in the crowd to sing and dance. Riding on it’s success, the premier truck race will keep everyone excited to look forward for the next edition. A question remains. Whether or not Indian drivers get to race T1 Prima trucks. We certainly shall be optimistic.