As the Madras Motor Race Track prepares to host the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, local boy Shankar Sarath Kumar is also dealing with the immense home ground pressure. 

For the rider who is Chennai born and bred, the sky high expectations from his fans and supporters are understandable. He has logged almost 2,000 laps at the 3.717km circuit and has lost count of the number of wins that he had crafted in his home track.

“I am very grateful for all the well wishes from Indian motorsports fans. I feel the pressure more intensely now that the race had been moved to the Madras Motor Race Track. Last year, in Delhi, there was not much of a home advantage because of the race was held in a distant part of the country. This time around, I will be racing in front of fans and family who will be praying hard that I finish on the podium,” said Sarath.

“But what I hope everyone would understand is that the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is a whole different ballgame. The level of competition had increased tremendously since the last time the ARRC raced in Chennai back in 2013. I’m not making any excuses, but we will be racing against former GP and World Superbike riders. We need to look at this realistically. The level of competition now is world-class.”

Nevertheless, the RAMA Honda by NTS T.Pro Ten10 rider hopes that the continued and unwavering support of the fans will spur him to achieve his best results to date.