Every year the automotive industry inÂ India waits eagerly for the announcement of the CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE Awards – manufacturers, readers and viewers alike. But what most do not realise is that an immense amount of work goes into the process of evaluating the contenders for the prestigious Speedshift. It is aÂ highly organised and systematic process that can be compared with similar awards of this nature – it helps us reach a fair and just decision about who the trophies should go to.
There are some primary criteria on which each contender is judged. The first is how it is placed in its segment. Does it fit the purpose that it has been designed for and the target audience it is meant for? The second is the performance numbers that we have managed to clock on/in them. This includes fuel economy, acceleration and pretty much everything else you can think of. The third is whether the contender offers value for money at the price it is sold at. And the final and most important criterion is whether the vehicle manages to excite us.
The CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE jury is allotted a set of points (maximum 25, 15 if the contenders in the category are too few) per juror. After the jurors have ridden/driven and tested all the contenders at a racetrack (this year we picked the Buddh International Circuit) and discussed their opinions on the vehicles, each juror is required to distribute their points across the contenders. In every case, two vehicles cannot have top scores. In each category, the juror must indicate a clear winner with a unique maximum score â€“ the limit is 10 points. The rest of the points, after the winner has been scored are distributed among the other contenders. After all the jurors have completed the points scoring process, the scores are accumulated and the highest points put the spotlight on the winner.
Like every year, this year too we brought together a jury consisting of people who live and breathe cars and motorcycles. Take a look at the lineup for the year:
OVERDRIVEâ€™s editor has driven all kinds of vehicles, including a Formula One racecar and his natural skill behind the wheel and with the pen and his understanding of vehicles translate into the most authoritative, trustworthy automotive testing and opinion in the country today.
Shumi is known for his untiring passion for two-wheelers that rules his head and heart. Our executive editor has ridden or tested almost everything launched in the last two decades and he relentlessly drives Indiaâ€™s best two-wheeler coverage on CNBC-TV18.
Bob is one of the pioneers of automotive journalism in India. Over a career that started with the Indian Autos Journal in 1986, Bob has contributed and/or headed some of the most respected publications in the business. With over a million kilometres of wheel time to his credit, his experience in all things automotive is only matched by his skill at the wheel.
As road test editor, Halley handles the all road testing at OVERDRIVE. His skill and experience behind the wheel or handlebars can be seen in the unique insight that he is able to provide into vehicle testing. An avid motorcyclist, Halley also has to his credit a win at the Desert Storm rally at his very first attempt.
The face of OVERDRIVE on TV, Jamshed has been testing motorcycles and cars much longer than what his young looks might suggest. A former kart racer, Jamshed is responsible for evaluating vehicles for our TV show.
Anand is an OVERDRIVE testing regular and heads IndiMotard which runs TWO track schools with us and has a year-long touring programme as well. An ex-US club racer whoâ€™s raced, for example, John Hopkins, Anand is lanky, fast, smooth and very accurate when it comes to his scores.
Bharath, or Breddy as heâ€™s called, heads British Nutritions but what puts him on our jury is his love of race-ready sports motorcycles, his natural skill on the bike and his ability to analyse the motorcycle in vivid, crystal clear detail. Breddy rides tracks in India and abroad.
Sid, as everyone knows him, is responsible for the California Superbike School in India among other things, and apart from being a super-quick rider, he brought to the jury his instinctive feel for motorcycles that led to animated discussions and laser-focussed opinion.
Our strong and silent juror doesnâ€™t say much, but his speed and skill on the motorcycle are matched only by his ability to deliver the most astonishing verdicts in the fewest words possible. A proper nice guy, Sarath has raced in Moto3 and is Indiaâ€™s top motorcycle racer.
He founded the Raid de Himalaya, is a terrific rider and driver whoâ€™s ridden, driven and raced more than most of us ever will. Vijay scored both the motorcycle and car categories and his speed in a vehicle was only matched by how well-considered his scoring was.
A respected name in the motorcycling community in the country, Vicky is the owner of the Performance Racing Store in Mumbai. Despite having to juggle his shipping business and running one of the most successful motorcycle gear stores in the country, Vicky still manages to find time to put in more track time on his motorcycles than most of us at OVERDRIVE.