Toyota Etios Motor Racing weekend at MMRT sees Ben Collins (formerly Stig): 2012 3 EMR Exhibition races
This is the first ever Exhibition Race that was flagged off this weekend on 4th and 5th August 2012. 25 Etios Motor Racing Drivers participated in the event which took place at Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai. Besides the actual racing events there were a number of other activities held to capture the attention of young and old which included Celebrity Races, SUV Zone, Karting Zone, Children’s Learning Zone and even demonstrations by Akira Iida Japanese driver and Ben Collins who fascinated audience with their performances in Etios Motor Racing cars.
These events were held following launch of Toyota’s new brand campaign called “Waku-Doki” which stands for excitement, joy and fun. Bringing more fun and adventure to Indian youth is the main idea behind this campaign while forming a basis for young drivers to learn the intricacies of motor sports. It will be Toyota’s continuous endeavor to offer more motor sport activities such as this. Later this year the Second Exhibition Race will be held in October 2012 in Delhi while a host of activities are planned for early 2013.
Later in 2012 EMR Series events based on single make racing championship platform will be held. All cars participating in these events will be FIA qualified with racing parts being offered by TRD along with technical backup. Ben Collins(formerly The Stig) was at the Madras Mortor Race Track for the first ever Toyota Etios Motor Racing Weekend in India. The Exhibition Race marks the debut of the final 25 EMR Drivers.the After a nation-wide search with over 3000 contenders and 3 driving camps later, Toyota EMR concluded on a succesful note at the Madras Motor Race Track at Sriperumbudur, Chennai on August 4 and 5, 2012.Also at the event was Toyota’s Super GT driver Akira Iida. This was a non-ticketed event.
News release: Toyota Flags off the First Ever Etios Motor Racing Weekend
The Exhibition Race marks the debut of the final 25 EMR Drivers.
A host of activities on and off the race track – Grand Opening Ceremony, Toyota Car Line-up, Celebrity Race, Karting Zone, SUV Zone and more.
International Guest Drivers – Akira Iida (Toyota Gazoo Racing Director & Acclaimed Japanese Driver) and Ben Collins (formerly known as the Stig).
Toyota Kirloskar Motor today set in motion the motorsport careers of 25 promising young racers at the highly anticipated Etios Motor Racing (EMR) Exhibition Race being held at the Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai on the 4th and 5th of August, 2012.
Apart from a Grand Opening Ceremony, there were a host of exciting activities to engage all age groups including Celebrity Races, Dealer/ Media Races, SUV Zone, Karting Zone, Children’s Learning Zone, ‘Design your EMR Car’, and much more. Toyota also invited two internationally acclaimed guest drivers, Akira Iida- ace Japanese driver and Ben Collins, formerly known as the Stig, to enthrall the spectators with their driving prowess in the EMR cars.
The EMR Exhibition Race is being held close on the heels of the launch of the Company’s new brand campaign called ‘Waku-Doki’, meaning excitement, joy and fun. Putting this into context, Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “In line with our international theme of Waku-Doki we introduced EMR to connect with the Indian youth through the sheer joy and excitement that it brings. We are very happy that EMR is seen as an ideal grass-roots category for young drivers to learn and make their way up in the motorsport ladder. With EMR we are committed to contributing to Indian motorsports for years to come.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “With EMR, we are happy to carry forward Toyota’s glorious global motorsport heritage. The overwhelming response we got for the EMR driver selection is a proof that today more and more Indian girls and boys are working towards a career in motorsport, and Toyota is looking forward to being a part of their training and growth in the sport.”
Mr. Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director-Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “The Exhibition Race this weekend is one of our many efforts to take the Toyota Brand closer to its customers and motorsport enthusiasts. The EMR Exhibition Race will not only mark the debut of the final EMR driver line-up for 2012-13 but is also a first-of-kind event for motorsport enthusiasts and their families with a host of activities on and off the race track.
It has been an untiring journey so far, right from the Auto Expo in Delhi early this year, to 14 cities and 24 dealerships across the country to rigorous testing of the EMR cars that will be driven by our top 25 young drivers who have been chosen by a team of experts.”
Also present at the occasion, Mr. Taro Hishida, Director, Toyota Technocraft (TRD), said, “TRD has been conducting one- make races in Japan and other parts of the world for many years now and has also been instrumental in supporting the development of racing cars. We have also successfully completed the design of the recently launched Liva TRD Sportivo and are honored to support the development of the Etios Motor Racing series, here in India. We would like to support TKM continually through EMR racing activity and TRD Sportivo products, hoping many customers in India will feel the excitement of ‘Waku-Doki’.”
After the Exhibition Race this weekend, in the offing is the Second Exhibition Race in the first weekend of October, 2012 in Delhi, and a number of interesting events based around EMR before the single-make series begins in the second half of 2013.
About Etios Motor Racing
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.
The Official Partners for EMR in 2012 are MRF – tyre manufacturer, DENSO – a Toyota affiliate that manufactures auto parts, Savita – sole distributor of Idemitsu Oil products in India, BMC – producers of air filters and MapmyIndia – providers of GPA navigation and online maps.
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.
Driver Selection Process
The eligible 800 candidates were 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.
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. 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.
40 drivers were selected from Camp 2 who then went on to attend Camp 3 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 expert motorsport drivers. 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.
Just before their debut at the Exhibition Race, the final 25 were put through an all-encompassing four-day training programme and practice sessions from July 31st to August 3rd. The drivers were trained by experts from TRD and acclaimed Indian racing drivers, the sessions over the three days included driver training, mental and psychological training, and physical training.