Suzuki is the latest manufacturer to jump on the single-make championship bandwagon in India. And of late, it is these single-make racing championships, run alongside the Two-Wheeler National Racing Championship, that have attracted a lot of participants from all over the country, primarily due to the ease of the 'arrive and race' package that is on offer. While Honda runs the CBR250 class in India at the moment, for 2015, there is something of a void caused by Yamaha Motor India stopping the R15 Cup. And the arrival of Suzuki and the Gixxer Cup is rather fortuitous for wannabe racers. Here is absolutely everything that you need to know about the championship.
What is the Suzuki Gixxer Cup?
The Suzuki Gixxer Cup is a five-round championship that will be held across three racetracks in the country. The motorcycles that will be used for this championship are the Suzuki Gixxer 150 SFs that are supplied to riders by Suzuki. The motorcycles are homologated by the FMSCI, and the bikes are all race-prepped by Suzuki. Since all motorcycles are equal, it all comes down to rider skill. If you're talented and are able to hone your racecraft, you're likely to win races. Simple.
Are there different classes?
There are two different categories for the Gixxer Cup. The Novice Category is open to riders who, as of January 1, 2016, are below 23 years of age and have not won any sort of race in any type of racing series in India and abroad in the past. The Open Category is for riders who are older than 23 years, or have won two-wheeler races either at a national or international level. Depending on the organisers, the grid for the Novice and Open classes may be merged, although the results will be declared separately.
Who can race?
In theory, everyone. But there are a few criteria that you need to fulfill. All competitors must possess a valid FMSCI racing licence. Either a road racing restricted competition licence, or a full racing licence. Forms for this can be downloaded here: www.fmsci.in
Competitors must also have either previous racing experience, or should have attended one of the following race schools-California Superbike School, Apex Racing Academy, Honda Ten10 Racing Academy or the MMSC Racing Academy. There's one little catch though. If you're competing in the Gixxer Cup, you cannot compete in any other one make championship. If you decide to compete in any other single make series, then you forfeit your points in the Gixxer Cup.
Where will the races be held?
The races for the 2015 Suzuki Gixxer Cup will be held over three racetracks in the country - the Kari Motor Speedway, the Madras Motor Race Track and the Buddh International Circuit. The championship calendar is as follows:
Round 1 KMS, Coimbatore,June 5 - 7 2015
Round 2 MMRT, Chennai,July 10 - 12 2015
Round 3 MMRT, Chennai,August 7 - 92015
Round 4 MMRT, Chennai,September 4 - 62015
Round 5 MMRT, Chennai or BIC, G. Noida (TBA)
How much will it cost to race?
The fee for racing these motorcycles is Rs 2,000 per person per event. Which, when you think about it, isn't all that much. Of course, you will need to pay for your travel and accommodation and the like. However, to race a motorcycle over a weekend, without the hassle of transporting your own bike, we'd say these prices are unbeatable.
How do I sign up?
How do the races work?
In the case of the Novice Category, the organisers will hold a qualifying session for up to 30 eligible riders. The top 20 riders will make it to the race, with the start grid for Race 1 being decided based on performance in qualifying. The start grid for Race 2 is based on the results of Race 1. Organisers can include up to five Wild Card entries for the Novice Class.
In the Open Class, it works pretty much the same way, except the the starting order for both races is based on performance during qualifying. And the organisers can include up to two Wild Card entries in this class.
What do I get if I win?
The top three finishers in each race get a trophy and some prize money to go with it. For both Open and Novice classes, first place gets Rs 7,500, second place gets Rs 5,000, third place gets Rs 2,500. Championship winners in the Novice and Open Class get Rs 30,000, runners up get Rs 20,000 and second runners up get Rs 10,000.
Where do I go from here?
Well, if you do win the Gixxer Cup in the Novice Category, we'd say the next step would be to compete in the Open Class the next year. If you win in the Open Class, then you can progress to other types of single make races, like the Honda CBR250R Cup, where the big guns race. Racing your own motorcycle in either the Group C or D classes is a big leap, and will cost a lot more and be a logistical hassle. If you're talented, though, there is a chance that a team will spot you and approach you to race for them.