Toyota Etios Motor Racing Car : First Drive
Just when it seemed like there was nothing left on the manufacturer platter for these rookies, Toyota has stepped in with the Etios Motor Racing Trophy and this is according to us, one of the best things that could have happened to grassroots level motorsports in the country
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Motorsports is finally coming into its own in India and while our boys have been at it for the past few decades, the lack of manufacturer support was always a big hurdle. As far as the bikes are concerned, TVS was always a prominent pillar but then Yamaha, Honda and even Mahindra jumped in taking it far beyond what the privateers could have managed. The same stands for car racing as well and with Volkswagen storming in with the hugely successful Polo R Cup, Indian drivers got the stepping stone to International racing series that they had been waiting for.
But the Polo Cup has evolved quite a bit since its first year in 2010 and the 2012 version of the series goes super high-tech with the cars putting out way more power than they ever did and the manual gearbox being chucked out for a DSG one. That has again left a huge gap for youngsters who are still predominantly in their karting days and are looking to graduate to saloon cars.
These are kids who aspire to be India’s top racing drivers someday but are still looking for guidance to make that one big step into the big bad world of International motorsport. Just when it seemed like there was nothing left on the manufacturer platter for these rookies, Toyota has stepped in with the Etios Motor Racing Trophy and this is according to us, one of the best things that could have happened to grassroots level motorsports in the country.
The Etios? Seriously?
Now that’s the first question that really strikes anyone who hears of the EMR Championship that is set to debut in 2013 as a full-fledged season-based racing series. While the Etios comes about as nothing but a docile family car, it becomes extremely difficult to fathom the tame sedan in full racing guise. But if you really look at it closely, you’ll understand the logic behind choosing the Etios as the base for the entry-level racing series.
Even in stock form, the Etios has always been one of the best handling sedans in its class and its light weight helps it further in getting enough performance from its 1.5 litre petrol engine to put a smile on your face. Put it through the racing car prototyping phase and the end result is something that you would never have imagined.
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ET Bureau Photography by Kunal Khadse
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