By bringing Petronas on board, TVS Racing have marked the advent of a new era in their motor sport initiative. We also got a taste of one of their fastest race motorcycles
Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Petronas TVS Racing
With more than three decades of experience in the crucible of Indian motor sport, TVS Racing is one of the top factory teams in the country. On numerous occasions, I have personally witnessed the team’s drive and dedication to racing and this certainly contributes to their dominance in the sphere of Indian motorcycle racing. Their latest announcement was one of their biggest and most significant yet. TVS Racing have roped in Petronas as title sponsor for their upcoming championships.
Petronas is a brand that needs no introduction for motor sport enthusiasts. Famously associated with the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team for multiple world championship titles, it is a matter of pride that this lubricant giant is now associated with one of our homegrown racing entities. As part of this partnership, the TVS Racing team has now been converted into “Petronas TVS Racing Team”. Of course, such a change needs new livery for the race machines and that has been accounted for as well. The new livery is an amalgamation of TVS Racing’s colours and Petronas’ iconic hue.
TVS have always used their racing activities to feed the stream of engineering that goes into the research and development of their road-going motorcycles and Petronas are also keen to do the same. The lubricant manufacturer said that it would use the data obtained from racing to develop a new line of engine oils specifically for Indian conditions. The Petronas TVS Tru4 RacePro is the first product from this initiative. This full synthetic engine oil has been available for customers to buy from 01 May 2022. Over the following season, further development will be used to prepare similar products for their rally effort as well.
For the upcoming season, the team will participate in road racing, supercross, and rally, including the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC), Indian National Supercross Championship (INSC), and Indian National Rally Championship (INRC). For these championships, Petronas’ Sprinta range of engine oil will be used.
Following the announcement, we were given a track experience astride the Apache RR 310 One Make Championship motorcycle. The road-going version of the RR 310 is a sweet motorcycle and visually appealing even at standstill. Wearing the race fairing and bodywork, the competition-spec RR 310 is also attractive but in a way that screams its sole intention: speed. Further confirmation of its sporty intentions comes in the form of a racy, deafening exhaust note from the custom race system the moment one presses the starter button. If these hints are not convincing enough, the revised rider triangle is the final aspect that will remind you of this motorcycle’s singular focus before leaving the pit-lane.
A couple of laps were spent in getting used to the motorcycle, especially because it had lost a considerable amount of weight by shedding all the appurtenances unnecessary for the track. I expected it to be just as friendly as the standard RR 310 but faster, but that was not exactly the case. If the standard motorcycle is the popular bloke who is an ideal all-rounder, this one is a focused athlete and it shows on the track. The quick throttle itself makes a world of difference in how one accelerates. The ability to dial in accurate measures of throttle and the reward of smooth, consistent fuelling urge one to ride this motorcycle hard but that comes with its own challenges. A couple of laps into the fast session, it was apparent that a high level of physical fitness is necessary to get the most out of this machine.
With an agility that enables it to turn on a dime, this RR 310 is eager to go hunting for apexes and rocket out of exits; a machine that is properly fast in the right hands. It needs precise steering inputs and considerable concentration to set the track ablaze. Personally, I greatly enjoyed my time on the track with it, the only variable that could be improved upon being yours truly. After this experience, I can only imagine what an insane experience it must be to ride the Pro Stock RR 310.
With a fleet of race-ready machines and the backing of Petronas, we have great expectations of this Indian manufacturer over the following season.
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