This weekend, the ‘IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt 2019’ returned to Coimbatore for round 4 of the 2nd season to fast-track the identification & development of Next-gen Young Racing Icon rider from the Manchester of South India. Through the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt, Honda 2Wheelers India is shortlisting and grooming the best of Indian riders starting for a racing career, spanning national and international championships.
After the last three rounds in Chennai, Bengaluru & Pune, round 4 of IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt in Coimbatore saw participation of 8 youngsters from Coimbatore, Ariyalur & Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune with the youngest being only of 16 years of age. The candidates went through rigorous 3 levels of tests. First being their physical fitness, second their race orientation and riding skills especially for the race track. This was followed by a one-on-one interview with candidates and parents/guardians to understand both their motorsport passion and family support to become the next iconic rider from India.
Sharing an overview on Honda’s aim for developing ‘Iconic Indian Riders’, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand & Communication, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “The 2019 racing season was extremely successful for Team Honda. Our 19 selected young guns were initiated into professional track racing at national level through CBR 150R class of IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup 2019. Not only this, we fast-tracked the career of 8 riders by giving them opportunity to race on NSF250R – Honda’s world class Moto3 machine. In fact, Honda gave the opportunity to 2 of our Talent Hunt riders to ride with best of Asian riders at Thailand Talent Cup. In long term, Honda’s focus is to put young Indian talent on multiple world class platforms from CEV, Asian Talent Cup, going up to premier class MotoGP. This weekend we were delighted to see the overwhelming passion of the young boys who participated in the Coimbatore leg. And, the Hunt is just the start of their professional racing career.”
After shortlisting in phase 1, the top candidates of this round will be trained and given opportunity to improve their skills at the Chennai race track in Phase II. From this pool of riders, Honda will then pick the best talent and provide them with direct entry to the Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R class in 2020 season in the first phase. Honda’s two pronged approach of creating development structure for new riders and creating best of domestic and international racing platforms has boosted motorsport in India.
Past success stories of IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt:
Mohamed Mikail – our 2018 IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt find is now the only Indian rider to join the prestigious 2020 IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup (IATC) grid. Prior to this, Mikail was the 2019 champion of IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt Cup (NSF 250R) and 2018 champion of CBR 150R class.
Giving wings to our young guns to up-skill with Asia’s best, Honda also provided him and Kritik Habib, a chance to upskill on international platform. Similarly, Aizawl’s budding racer Lal Nunsanga won the CBR150R Cup.