Coimbatore teen, Senthil Kumar becomes the youngest Indian rookie racer to score points at ARRC
Senthil Kumar becomes the youngest Indian rider to finish in the top 14 at the inaugural race of the Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC)
Growing up, Coimbatore-born Senthil Kumar had a dream — to own the fastest and snazziest pair of wheels in the city. Little did he know that he’d become the youngest Indian rider to finish in the top 14 at the inaugural race of the Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC). From watching his brother, Raj Kumar, racing when he was a kid to taking part in the ARRC that was held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the rookie racer has come a long way from honing his craft on Coimbatore’s circuit.
“I still remember watching my current teammate, Rajiv Sethu training a junior and noticing the love and respect he commanded. That ignited a spark in me,” says Senthil Kumar. Starting amateur racing at 15 without his parent’s consent, Senthil has since then taken part in over 100 races. But it was the Rookie Cup Challenge 2017 and Thailand Talent Cup 2018 that landed him a spot at the ARRC. “My parents are very supportive of my career path now,” he says.
Beginning the race 17th on the grid of 25 racers, the 18-year-old managed to secure 14th place after a neck-and-neck battle with Taipei’s Chiou Ke-Lung and finished securing two points for his team — making him the youngest ever Indian racer to do so. “My sole aim throughout was to complete within the top ten ranks. It was never about anything else,” says the rider, who secured had third place on the podium at the INMRC Pro Stock 165 and IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup last year.
Work it harder
To enhance his endurance and match his 250cc ride, the youngster undertakes a rigorous training session with four hours of cycling and two hours of high intensity training every day. When asked about how he manages to keep his cool on the track, he says, “Only listen to your heart and not to the critics around you.”
Senthil will take part in Round 3 of the ARRC that starts today in Thailand.