Gear head

J Anand has been rac­ing at the sharp end and mak­ing cars go faster for decades

Evo India - - NEWS - by RYAN LEE

BACK IN THE DAY, AS SOON as the lights turned green J Anand – a man known to be one of the best race­car driv­ers In­dia has ever pro­duced – took the In­dian mo­tor­sport scene by storm. Born into the Lak­shmi Mills fam­ily and fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of names like Kari­vard­han and Naren Ku­mar, Anand started rac­ing at a very young age. It is of­ten said that the fastest driver is usu­ally the per­son who un­der­stands his car the best, and Anand had au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer­ing struc­tured into his DNA.

His pas­sion for au­to­mo­biles has no limit. He be­gan build­ing en­gines and by the time he was in col­lege, he had built and de­vel­oped a twin-cam 16-valve high per­for­mance petrol en­gine; this was just the be­gin­ning. Anand, a keen racer, was known to push the car to its limit ev­ery time he went out on the track. It was this very spirit that won him nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades in the Formula Maruti se­ries at Sholavaram. Apart from rac­ing the Maruti 800, he also raced a Fiat in the Group 2 cat­e­gory (sim­i­lar to to­day’s ITC cat­e­gory) and even won nu­mer­ous cham­pi­onships in su­per sa­loon rac­ing. His pas­sion, ag­gres­sion and dom­i­nance in these cat­e­gories caught the eyes of Team MRF. He tried his hand at ral­ly­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing in the K1000 in the 80s with Team MRF’s in-house de­signed Mayura sedan, pow­ered by a 16-valve DOHC en­gine, built and con­cep­tu­alised by J Anand, but ral­ly­ing was not his calling. The high­light of his ca­reer was his stint in the Formula 3 cham­pi­onship with Team MRF. Rac­ing against driv­ers from around the world, Anand man­aged to ce­ment his name in the In­dian mo­tor­sport arena win­ning all the races at Irun­gat­tukot­tai and Sholavaram.

Af­ter bag­ging a number of ti­tles to his name J Anand de­voted him­self to the fam­ily en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness that had al­ready shot into the lime­light with cred­its that in­cluded the four-cylin­der diesel en­gine for the Am­bas­sador in the seven­ties, a six­cylin­der en­gine for the Stan­dard 2000 in the eight­ies and the first in­dige­nous four-door sedan, the Mayura 1500, that was shown at the 1986 Auto Expo. Quit­ting rac­ing while at his peak (many con­tend he had the chops to make it to F1) he con­tin­ued to work with MRF as a tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor that led to the found­ing of J A Mo­tor­sport. Anand con­tin­ued to fuel his pas­sion of build­ing race­cars, he de­signed and de­vel­oped a pro­to­type formula car – Formula Mayura, based on a 1600cc Formula Lo­tus Vaux­hall. In 2003 he built a sec­ond pro­to­type run­ning a Tata en­gine – Formula In­dia Mayura. Anand joined forces with Van Diemen of UK to de­velop a new Formula 1600 car pow­ered by Ford en­gines and then de­vel­oped the car­bon-chas­sis F2000 sin­gle-seater, the fastest race car to be built in the coun­try, that is the bedrock of the MRF In­ter­na­tional Chal­lenge. On the ral­ly­ing front J A Mo­tor­sport has built cham­pi­onship win­ning rally cars for MRF start­ing with the Gypsy and pro­gress­ing to the Honda City VTEC, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Ford Fi­esta and Mit­subishi Ce­dia.

Over the years, Jayem Au­to­mo­tive have grown into an in­ter­na­tion­ally­ac­claimed R&D con­sul­tancy, a job that has se­crecy hard coded into ev­ery as­sign­ment, but the most vis­i­ble signs of the part­ner­ship are the scores of Tata Mo­tors ve­hi­cles pound­ing out the test miles near Coim­bat­ore, be­ing tested and val­i­dated by Jayem en­gi­neers. They’ve also built some crazy con­cept cars which in­cludes the V6-en­gined Indica Sil­hou­ette which made 256bhp (and faster than a Porsche 911). When it comes to In­dian en­gi­neer­ing and rac­ing, J Anand is a name you can never ever for­get, a true le­gend.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.