Learning the ways of the racetrack with R.A.C.R.

Learning the ways of the racetrack with R.A.C.R.

The only place where one gets to make full use of their and their motorcycle’s potential is the racetrack. Needless to say, riding at a racetrack is immensely fun. Riding on a racetrack though is something that needs a very specific set of skills. Skills honed and developed over long hours of practice. But even before one goes ahead and puts in those hours of practice, these skills need to be imparted to them by professionals. Professionals such as the folks at R.A.C.R.

Recently, we got the golden opportunity to learn from these professionals at the Buddh International Circuit over a two-day programme. First of all, let us introduce the team and the entity because of which we got this opportunity. R.A.C.R. stands for Rajini’s Academy of Competitive Racing. As the name suggests, it is run by Rajini Krishnan, one of India’s most successful racers.

Usually, R.A.C.R. organizes their sessions on the MMRT but travels to cities with racetracks whenever the opportunity arises. This time around, they announced that R.A.C.R. was coming to BIC and it was a chance that we were not going to miss. We’d also like to thank Castrol POWER1 for this opportunity. They have stood by xBhp for a long time now and have supported Rajini and R.A.C.R. tremendously in their endeavour for honing the next generation of racers from our country.

Rajini Krishnan is the only Indian to win 3 International titles in 3 different categories (150cc, 600cc, and 1,000cc). In a career that started in 2002 followed by his first National Championship title in 2003, he has a total of 11 Indian National Championships under his belt. He is also the only Indian to have raced in the 24 hrs World Endurance Championship and the only one with a podium in the Asia Road Racing Championship (600cc).

After more than a decade of racing in India and abroad, Rajini found his calling in trying to provide the future generations of India with everything they’d need to go racing and represent India on the global stage. To that end, he started R.A.C.R. in 2015. The academy has the distinction of being the first to conduct training sessions at all three racing circuits of India; MMRT, Kari Motor Speedway, and BIC.

So far, more than 4,000 students have graduated from R.A.C.R. What really sets them apart is the fact that they pick out the best of the lot and train them specifically to take part in National and International Championships. With racing at its core, the R.A.C.R. racing team made their debut in the National Championship in 2015 and the Malaysian Superbike Championship in 2018. So far, they have 5 INMRC Team Championships while finishing as runner-ups on four occasions.

Considering how expensive racing is, the team was looking for a title sponsor and that is when Castrol POWER1 came aboard. Having been a part of various motorsports on a global level, Castrol POWER1 saw the potential in the team and the academy and decided to do the best they can to support R.A.C.R. In addition to the financial support, Rajini states that with quality products from Castrol POWER1, their machines too have had an edge over others in terms of performance.

Having been the backbone of the endeavours of R.A.C.R., Castrol POWER1 has supported a lot of our endeavours too. More than that, we have the utmost faith in Castrol POWER1 and its commitment to performance. All the machines in the xBhp Garage are powered by Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE range of engine oils. Years of distilling the experience and knowledge gained in global competitions ensured that the Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE and its Full-Synthetic 5-in-1 Formula provides a motorcycle with the ULTIMATE of everything, be it protection or performance.

Talking about our experience, Ankita Arora aka HighHeelsMotorcyclist took part in the two-day session along with Sundeep Gajjar aka MotoGrapher who was there to be a part of the track day. Ankita chose to go with the TVS Apache RR 310 as the machine of choice for her training. She has personally ridden the RR 310 in varying conditions and terrains.

Based on her experience and the fact that it is one of the best track motorcycles available in the segment, it proved to be a great choice. It was powered by Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 15W50. Its Full-Synthetic 5-in-1 Formula ensured that our RR 310 remained protected and ran cool throughout the rigours of the racetrack, in addition to performing at its peak.

As it should be for a passionate biker, it was a dream come true for Ankita as she got to learn from the fastest Indian and one of the best racing teams and academies around. It was her very first professional motorcycle training session on a racetrack. The training was divided into Level 1 and Level 2, more on that later, and the sessions took place from morning to evening over two days. These sessions included both theoretical teaching and practical coaching on the racetrack.

Before it all started, the track officials and the R.A.C.R. team taught all the participants about the important flags and signals. This included the briefing about the layout of the track along with the rules and regulations of riding on the track. This was followed by the procedure of how and when one gets on and off the racetrack. One must follow all the rules, regulations, and procedures concerning safety as floundering even one rule is dangerous and can lead to disqualification at the very least. The batch of riders was also taught about the importance of never halting on the racetrack and only taking the suggested exit points or asking for help.

After the initial briefing, it was time for the riders to receive their theoretical and practical training from Mr Rajini Krishnan and Mr Navneeth Mulidhara. R.A.C.R. academy is open to all motorcycle enthusiasts who want to improve their riding skills by understanding the basic principles of motorcycle riding. The Academy is open to people of all ages and the minimum age restriction for the training programme is 10. The training programme is split into three levels.

Level 1 is a one-day training programme that has 6 classroom sessions and 6 on-track sessions. This level is aimed at teaching the students about the basics of body positioning, counter-steering, braking, and a few other skills. These drills are first demonstrated in the classroom followed by a track session where the instructor monitors all the students making sure that they are applying their learnings. This level also covers the basic essence of track riding and at the end, one gets a Level 1 Certification which makes them eligible for an FMSCI license as well.

Level 2 is also a one-day training programme that has 6 classroom sessions and 6 on-track sessions. This level is aimed at imparting techniques like advanced body positioning, race-start drills, overtaking, attacking and defending lines, and some other things. Level 2 ensures that the rider can frequent track days and fine-tune the techniques learned.

Then there is Level 3, which aims to correct the major and minor mistakes followed by the next level called One To One. This level is for those who are willing to take up racing full-time and includes sessions from the instructor of your choice. Ankita from the xBhp Core Team cleared Level 1 and Level 2 and she got to learn a lot. She believes that this training not only helps one to ride on the track but also makes them better riders on the road as it teaches a lot about discipline.

Along with Ankita, Sundeep Gajjar also took the TVS Apache RR 310 for a spin and came back impressed with both the motorcycle and how well Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 15W50 worked in it. Followed by that, he upped the ante as he spent some time with the Kawasaki ZX-10R on the track which was powered by the Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 10W50 Superbike Oil that performed flawlessly throughout.

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