For the first time, the Asia Road Racing Championship will see an Indian team line up on the grid with Indian riders leading the charge in the 250cc category. The IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team will field riders Rajiv Sethu, who would be appearing in the ARRC for a second time, and rookie Anish D Shetty in the Asia Production 250cc class on their Honda CBR250RR motorcycles. They will be battling it out with 23 other Asian riders. The team’s effort in the big league however will continue with international riders with Japanese rider Taiga Hada riding in the SuperSport 600cc class.
The team’s rider management will be taken care of by India based Ten10 Racing While T-Pro of Japan will provide technical support, including performance enhancement, modification, data analysis, maintenance and repairs to the motorcycles. Honda will oversee overall management.
HMSI’s lending support to international motorsport marks a paradigm shift in vision and strategy as the company moves from a stated aim to ‘Promote fun culture in India’ to its new objective of developing Indian riding talent for national as well as international championships. While expressing his pride at announcing the first ever Indian ARRC team and outlining HMSI’s plans of expanding motorsport in India, Minoru Kato, president and CEO, HMSI, said, “The motorsport excitement will continue in 2018. Honda will announce a slew of new programmes to promote and expand professional motorsport in India.”
The ARRC comprises three open-make classes, namely the SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc and Underbone 130cc classes and two single-make development classes. The 2018 season is the 23rd edition of the FIM ARRC, which will see 64 riders representing eight countries from Asia competing with each other in six rounds, to be held in Thailand, Australia, Japan, India and Indonesia. The final round of the championship will be held in Thailand.