Royal Enfield concluded an exhilarating inaugural season of India’s first retro-racing championship – JK Tyre Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup 2021 – at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore this weekend. The event witnessed phenomenal response from the 2-wheeler racing community and this inaugural season had participation of the top 18 riders from different parts of the country, who brought out their best racing skills on the circuit.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup 2021, made its debut on the race track in September 2021, under the aegis of Federation of Motorsports Club of India (FMSCI). The championship racing event, conducted as part of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship 2021, was staged across four rounds that offered the young and aspiring riders a new platform to showcase and hone their racing skills with the Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650. Royal Enfield has retained everything under the skin of the Continental GT 650 stock motorcycle and minimally modified the vehicle with a retro fairing, stiffer suspension, a more committed riding posture and stainless steel exhausts suited for track racing.
Commenting on the successful inaugural season of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup 2021, Mr. B. Govindarajan, Executive Director, Eicher Motors Ltd. said, “The success of the first season of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup stands as a testimony of our efforts to bring accessible track-racing close to those budding and aspiring racers in the country. The championship aims to inculcate the competitive spirit of these riders and provide an opportunity to learn and improve their riding skills on track. The impressive performance of the close-to-stock Continental GT-R650 only goes to prove the potential of this brilliant cafe racer. In line with our efforts to nurture passion, skill and the spirit of competition, we shall also introduce track schools to provide professional training access to enthusiasts. Congratulations to the winners and I would also like to express my gratitude to every participant, crew member, and our partners who have contributed to the massive success of this season.”
After a nail biting final round this weekend, Anish Damodar Shetty from Hubli emerged as the National Cup Champion, with 64 points accumulated over four rounds, followed by Allwin Xavier with 61 points as the first runner up and Anfal Akdhar with 40 points as the second runner up.
The enrollment process to this inaugural season of the championship received entries from nearly 500 racing enthusiasts from all across the country. The selection process had participation from over 100 riders and the 18 fastest riders made it to the final grid. The track-ready Continental GT-R650, with its minimalistic, yet purpose-built modifications provided an un-intimidating, agile and spirited performance on the track that exceeded all expectations to offer a unique and engaging racing experience to these riders.
For the majority of the race, it was a three-way battle between Anish, Allwin and Meka Viduraj where Allwin won the final round followed by Meka Viduraj and Anish in second and third place respectively. However, Anish Damodar Shetty continued to dominate in the first 3 rounds and secured the top spot, securing maximum points to win the overall championship.
The champion, Anish Damodar Shetty from Hubli is a 27 year old professional motorcycle racer, software engineer and a fitness enthusiast. Both Allwin and Anfal are young racers from Thrissur, Kerala. Anish was closely followed throughout the season by Allwin, a 22-year old adrenaline junkie who loves to be around motorcycles all the time. Anfal, only 21 years old, has started practicing on tracks since 2019 and has already left a big mark in his debut year in racing competitions.
Anish Damodar Shetty from Hubli, winner of the first season of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup 2021, said “Holding the first ever Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup Championship trophy is an absolute honour, in fact, it is like a dream come true. Royal Enfield has done a commendable job with the championship and especially the Continental GT-R650, which has performed beyond expectations. It was quite an adrenaline rush to compete with the selected racers on the first ever race-ready motorcycle from Royal Enfield. This first season of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup has further enhanced my racing skills and I am really looking forward to the next season.“
Royal Enfield has further plans to launch track schools in the near future to encourage rider skill development in a safe and controlled environment. These schools shall also double up as a stepping stone for those wanting to participate in the racing championship in the forthcoming seasons, while filling up the off-season calendar.
With the resounding success of Season 1 of Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup, Royal Enfield has big plans for next year and aims at offering more exciting opportunities for aspiring racers and taking the retro championship experience a notch higher.