Hemanth Muddappa smashes National Drag record: Motorsports

By | October 15, 2020

Chennai, 10 October 2020: Defending champion Hemanth Muddappa of Mantra Racing, astride a Suzuki Hayabusa broke the National Drag Record, setting a new mark of 7.783 seconds beating his own record over the 302- metre MMRT Drag Strip. The Madras Motor Sports Club kick-started the domestic 2020 motorsport season by successfully conducting the first round of the MMSC Fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Drag Racing Championship in a secure bio-bubble environment at the MMRT circuit here on Sunday.

The 30-year Bengaluru-based Coorgi, a three time National champion, touched a top speed of 222.49 kmph despite the third fastest reaction time of 1.658 sec at the start, to began the season on a winning note. He broke his own National record of 7.976 which he set in the round two last year on 6 October and equalled in the Championship winning last round in December. The bike was tuned by Sharan Pratap of Mantra Racing, Bengaluru. Muddappa won the National championship consecutively in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

While Mudappa expectedly topped the time charts, clocking a blistering time for the sprint in the Super Sport 4-stroke Above 1051cc class, he could only come second in the 851 to 1050cc class as Mohammed Riyaz of Hyderabad won the dash. Rulex Rockers Racing team’s Bharatraj and Mohammed Rafiq notched a double apiece in their respective categories. Defending champion Nivetha Jessica won the girls category on Saturday.

“I have been eagerly waiting to get back on track and am keeping myself fit. I was confident of clocking the best time, but beating the track record again is a bonus. I look forward to a consistent season to retain my National title,” said the Coorgi, who is primarily into civil contracts and also a partner in a leading sports nutrition brand, `1up Nutrition India’. He is based in Bengaluru. 

Sporting activity came to a grinding halt in March and since then it was seven months that the Indian motorsports saw no activity. But with the revised calendar announced by the Federation, MMSC Indian National Drag Championship hosted the first Nationals to kick-start the motorsports calendar with a `new normal’, what with all the guidelines to tackle Corona Virus.

Managing some 116 entries besides a host of officials, volunteers and employees, the MMSC went to great lengths to strictly implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and protocols as mandated by Government guidelines designed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In view of the restrictions, no spectator or guest was permitted entry to the venue, while each competitor was allowed only one helper or mechanic, and the races were spread over two days (Saturday and Sunday) so as to limit the size of the congregation to under 100.

MMSC Vice-President Vicky Chandhok said: “Following weeks of preparations and working on the SOPs as dictated by the government guidelines, it was great to go racing again after a break of seven months. Though we had to make do without a sponsor, we spared no expense to create a secure bio-bubble at the track. Of course, as per sporting regulations, we had a fully-equipped Medical team to deal with any emergency.

“As much as the sport mattered to us, we gave top priority to health of all involved in the event. The strict protocols, followed by all at the venue, involved temperature checks, frequent hand sanitization and physical distancing. We also restricted entry to only essential persons, besides competitors.”

The results: 4-Stroke Super Sport:

Above 1051cc: 1. Hemant Mudappa (Mantra Racing, Bengaluru) (07.783secs); 2. Hafizulla Khan (Bengaluru) (08.374); 3. Harish Naik (Bengaluru) (08.721).

851-1050cc: 1. Mohammed Riyaz (Hyderabad) (07.922); 2. Hemant Mudappa (08.162); 3. Sugan Prasad (Bengaluru) (08.382).

361-550cc: 1. Aiyaz (Bengaluru) (12.256); 2. Anand R (Speed Up Racing, Chennai) (12.350); 3. Karthik Mateti (Telangana) (12.518).

226-360cc: 1. J Bharatraj (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (12.805); 2. Vivek Pillai (Team Alisha Abdullah, Chennai) (13.104); 3. P Yogeswaran (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (13.137).

Up to 165cc: 1. Bharatraj J (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (14.580); 2. PM Soorya (Rulex Rockers Racing, Chennai) (14.656); 3. Anand R (Speed Up Racing, Chennai) (15.039).

Saturday: Novice (Girls, Stock up to 165cc): 1. Nivetha Jessica (Chennai) (16.512); 2. Ann Jennifer (Chennai) (16.642); 3. Alisha Abdullah (Chennai) (16.781).

2-Stroke Super Sport 131-165cc: 1. Mohammed Rafiq (12.843); 2. Manoj Kumar S (13.228); 3. Mohammed Touheed (13.253).

Up to 130cc: 1. Mohammed Rafiq (13.381); 2. R Madhan Kumar (13.584); 3. Mohammed Touheed (13.954).