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Nagarjuna steals the show again
Sanjay Jadhav | Monday, 20 March 2017 AT 10:20 AM IST
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(From left) Malkeet Singh, Nagarjuna and Bhag Chand  celebrate on the podium at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.

Greater Noida:
From trucking on Indian highways to being the fastest trucker at the Buddh International Circuit last year as well as this year; 29 year old, Nagarjuna from Andhra Pradesh emerged victorious in the Champion Class of the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship which concluded here on Sunday.

The championship witnessed some intense racing action in three categories which were, Pro Class, Super Class and Champion Class.

In the Champion Class, Nagarjuna clocked the fastest lap with a timing of 1:50.562 minutes. Malkeet Singh (34) of Uttar Pradesh, came in second with the fastest lap of 1:50.597 minutes  while third placed Bhag Chand (32) from Rajasthan clocked the fastest time of 1:50.597 minutes.

Pitambar impresses-

Meanwhile Uttar Pradesh based 29 year old truck driver Pitambar impressed one and all as he won his first professional truck race in the Super Class category of the T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship.

Pitambar finished on top with a timing of 18:32.457 minutes. Shivnihal Singh who is also from Uttar Pradesh stood second while he clocked 19:10.683 minutes. Finishing third was statemate Gurujant Singh who clocked 19:14.220 minutes.

The drivers in this category were selected through the motorsports driver training and selection program, for Indian drivers called the T1 Racer Program (TRP).

The pro-class category was another intense affair which saw Czech Republic racer David Vrsecky securing victory.  The race witnessed domination of drivers from FIA’s European Truck Racing Championship who were competing on indian shores for the very first time.

Nobert Kiss from Hungary who represented Tata Technologies finished on the second position while Germany’s Gerhard Korber of the team Dealer Warriors stood on the third position.     

Speaking after his win, Pitambar was ecstatic about the development. “When I was selected, at first I thought that I will not be able to make it. with fast driving and these turns, I would feel a little afraid. Initially I thought that I will not be able to do it.  But in the end I thought and convinced myself to do it and give it my best. Now all the effort has paid off.”

Trucking since 14 years, Pitambar has been driving trucks of many makes and specifications. So he was confident about taking on the wheels here at the T1. “I thought that if I can handle very big trucks  then racing the Prima  can be done for sure,” Pitambar informed.

Adding further, Pitambar said “It was a different feeling at first but later I got used to the driving, be it  here on the circuit or on the highway. The experience of racing here at Buddh has been very good. The race on Sunday was a good experience and I will already start preparing for the race next year. I will come fully prepared next year.

Speaking about his training, Pitambar said “We trained in Chennai which was a good learning experience.  We learnt a lot there and things which people taught us have helped us in this event. If I would have participated last year I am confident that I would have won. Now that I got a chance I have proved myself.”

Champion class winner Nagarjuna, was second time lucky as he stole the limelight finishing on top. “In the first year, we worked a lot, there was a lot of effort which went in and was taken by everyone. This year there was really tough competition which we faced. Since this race had people who had won last year, everyone were aware of the conditions and knew exactly what to do. This year while training we got to learn new things especially riding a little faster than last year,” Nagarjuna said.

Speaking of life after winning the first edition and how life has changed, Nagarjuna said “It’s been a wonderful journey. Normally our profession is not looked upon nicely but after I won last season everyone started respecting me and my profession.  Because of winning this I could also get married. And life has changed for me. It’s is time for me to put in more effort in the future races.”

Results:

- Super class: Race 1: 1.Pitambar 18 mins 37.457 secs,2. Shivnihal Singh 19:10.683, 3. Gurujant Singh 19:14.220.
- Pro Class Race 2: 1.David Vrsecky 11 mins, 46.801 secs, 2. Gerhard Korber 11:48.191, 3. David Jenkins 11:48.796.
- Pro class Race 4: 1. David Vresecky 27 mins,19.797 secs, 2. Norbert Kiss 27:20.054,3. Gerhard Korber 27:26.623.
- Champion class: Race 3: 1. Nagarjuna 18 mins, 31.405 secs, 2. Malkeet Singh 18:34.687, 3.Bhag Chand 18:43.523.
 
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