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Thread: #inConversation with Emmanuel Jebaraj

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Default #inConversation with Emmanuel Jebaraj

    xBhp: Please introduce yourself to our readers.

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: I am Emmanuel Jebaraj fondly known as Jebba in the motorsport circle. I started racing in 1995. I was actively racing until 2012. In my tenure as a racer, I won 7 National Championships. We have our own racing school as well which we started in 2015.

    xBhp: Can you please tell us more about your racing school?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: We started our school, Gusto Racing India, in 2015. The school is accredited by FMSCI. We have been promoting a lot of young riders from different parts of the country. We have brought up quite a few champions in various categories in our tenure and many of today’s top racers are from our school. And we are sure to prepare more racers who will be champions in the future.

    xBhp: What is the eligibility criteria for your school?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: Anyone above the age of 13, which is the minimum allowed limit by FMSCI, can enroll in our school. We have no upper limit in age. So anyone who is passionate about riding can be a part of it. But if one wants to be a champion someday, it’s better to start early. We do train children below 13 on smaller bikes but unfortunately, they cannot be a part of any races or get their racing license till they are 13.

    In most of the cases, we provide the bikes, racing suit, boot and glove. But we advise them to carry their own helmets because that has to be individual because of the varying head sizes, among other reasons.

    xBhp: How can we get more riders on the track and stop them from racing on the streets?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: Most of it is about awareness. People should be made aware that roads are not meant for racing, race tracks are. If one feels like they want to go racing, they should go to race tracks. That is the right place to showcase their talent. The race track is where one is made aware of their real abilities with the pace, the corners and the passing skills. I believe that once one races on the race track, they will never race on the roads again.

    xBhp: Can you please tell us about your association with Apollo Tyres?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: I started testing tyres for OEMs in 2003. After I stopped racing professionally in 2012, I got back to tyre testing. It was in 2015 that I signed exclusively with Apollo Tyres. They came to me with a dream of preparing a tyre that would suit the Indian road conditions better than the tyres from any other manufacturer. Their goal was very simple, to be better than others, which is something that I had always wanted and still do. I must say that the journey has been wonderful, and fruitful too, case in point, the Apollo Alpha H1. The amount of hard work that went into the development of this tyre is something that I cannot describe in words. The tyre itself is a testimony to that.

    xBhp: Please tell us about the Apollo Alpha H1 in detail.

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: There are two types of tyres; cross-ply and radials. Furthermore, in radials, we have fabric radials and steel radials. The Alpha H1 is India’s first and only steel radial tyre. We have tested it extensively. They have been tested on the race track, they have been tested in rainy and wet conditions and this tyre is supposed to perform consistently in varying conditions. Another quality of it, is its mileage, which exceeds many others in the category. We are really proud to have come out with a tyre that is comparable to tyres from any international manufacturer.

    xBhp: What are the biggest challenges in front of the Indian Motorsports?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: The biggest reason why Indian riders are not able to go beyond a certain level is that they start late. FMSCI approved racers have to be above 13 while in other countries they start much earlier. Another factor is that we do not have the facility or the machinery to help our riders compete with Moto3 or Moto2 level. We definitely have the talent but that talent is not being utilized because, in most of the cases, finances become an issue and by the time the riders are able to sort that, age is not on their side anymore.

    In motorsport, we are on par with other Asian countries be it facility wise or infrastructure-wise. But technically, we are still not there. Also, not a lot of manufacturers are supporting motorsport at the moment and the problem is visibility.

    xBhp: What can be done to remedy that?

    Emmanuel Jebaraj: We need infrastructure, facilities and even more than that, awareness. If the government steps in and treats motorsport like an actual sport, we can bring world-class machinery for our racers without it costing a bomb. And with their support, we can also expand the visibility and the reach of the sport which in turn will bring in more talent. If that happens, manufacturers are sure to take notice and come in with support which will make sure that India is a prominent name on the world motorsport map.
    Last edited by xBhp; 06-06-2019 at 11:16 PM.
    bharatheshk likes this.

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