There was a light breeze, birds were actually not tweeting much, and it was a quiet Saturday morning at the Buddha International Circuit. Suddenly in the afternoon, it got louder and louder, and no it was not the birds, but the sound of a crew that planned to break records. Records, Yes, I am serious, and JK Tyre crew is here with their 2018 UX1 tyres for a 24-hour record!
JK Tyre took to the track this time for the 24-hour Performance Drive. It takes a special type of eccentricism, to drive on a race track for 24-hours, this is what JK Tyre did with 2 cars, all fitted with JK-Tyres UX1.
All Day, All Night, Man and the Machine.
JK Tyres has a history of 24-hour endurance runs with powering endurance drives with Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata and Audi previously. This time its Mercedes-Benz C-Class` (C220D and C300D) on the 5.1km long BIC race track. The circuit rises fourteen meters within the first three corners alone and a banked double-apex bend on the far side of the circuit.
The professional racers involved in JK Tyre powered Mercedes 24 hour Performance Drive were – Mira Erda (India’s first female formula racer) and Diljith from JK Tyre Motorsport team as well as Bertrand D’souza, Abhay Verma, Simran Rastogi, and Rishabh Bhaskar. All the professional drivers were scheduled in for one-and-a-half hours of driving at a stretch, with everyone needing to put in two stints, or more.
This was not attempted before, at least on an F1 track like BIC where the speeds, and forces on the body, are much higher than at any other racetrack. For the tyres to gorge this JK Tyre powered Mercedes 24 hour Performance Drive they surely need to have superb handling, extra grip, safety, unmatched ride comfort, durability, least noise, silent running, high speed control and better handling response. The tyres need to withstand the torture at each corner while maintaining strong grip at all times.
BIC was set up with lights all along to make sure the drivers faced no issues while driving at night. Despite the physical and technological challenges, the JK Tyre powered Mercedes 24 hour Performance Drive, is fairly simple: Drive the JK UX1 Tyres for 24 hours and complete as many laps as possible. The cars were stocked with no alterations.
The performance run flagged off in the afternoon. Even though when JK Tyre powered Mercedes 24 hour Performance Drive started, it was all sunny, slowly things started to change with light drizzle which turned into heavy rain and storm, all that which could affect the tyre grip but, JK UX1 tyres handled everything like a piece of cake. Literally, it was a different sight to see BIC in a different light at the JK Tyre powered Mercedes 24-hour Performance Drive as the sun came down.
While everyone was nervous whether they would manage to achieve their target of crossing the 2,000km mark, what with surprise pitstops and driver fatigue, when the clock stopped 24 Hours later on Sunday, the team was able to get an average speed of 91.67km/hr for 24 hrs, with 3:25 minute AVERAGE lap time over 24 hours including breaks, driver changes, refueling, etc. With all of this the team did 428 laps of the complete circuit covering 2200 km in total in 24 hours.
The mission was accomplished and all the professional drivers were in appreciation of the tyres which was a testimony to the fact that UX1 high performance tyres did an excellent job by withstanding their grounds during high speeds, high temperatures, rain showers etc. & still providing excellent gripping, handling, cornering, braking stability which enabled the drivers to complete the enduring run. At the end it called for a celebration with the JK tyre team accompanied by Overdrive staff, drivers and Buddh International Circuit crew opening the celebratory champagne and cutting a cake to finally pack up and take some rest.