rider Sarath Kumar is set to write a new chapter in his racing career. With
backing from the WOW Digit Company, the former Asia Dream Cup graduate will be
making his SuperSports 600cc debut at Round 2 of the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing
Championship. Scheduled to be held at the Chang International Circuit in
Buriram, Thailand on May 7 - 8, 2016, Sarath will be running mates with two
Japanese aces - Moto2 rider Tomoyoshi Koyama and upcoming hotshot Taiga Hada.
Sarath was the first Indian
rider to be accepted in the Honda-driven Asia Dream Cup. He ranked ninth
overall in 2014 but slipped down to 13th in 2015. While Sarath will not be the
first Indian to race in the Supersports 600cc class (that distinction has
already been taken by K. Rajini), his participation in the class becomes that
much more anticipated with the Buddh International Circuit set to host the FIM
Asia Road Racing Championship later this year.
“This is a perfect time for me
to move from 250 class to the 600 class and I am so happy that I will be
representing India in ARRC SS600. I have been riding the smaller bikes for over
8 years and because of my physic I had to move up the cc class but I did not
expect the opportunity to come so soon that to at such a high level of
competition. ARRC SS600 is one of the toughest grid in the world and I want to
learn a lot this year before I start thinking about results. Riding with teammates like Koyoma will be a
great learning opportunity for me and I hope I can get adjusted with the
motorcycle fast. I really want to thank Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India,
HM Japan our sponsors Mr. John Sudheer, WOW Digit Company and Mr. Ramji
Govindarajan, Ten10 Racing who came forward to support the entire team for the
season,” said Sarath.
The Asia Dream Cup is an
intermediary development programme meant to bridge the distance between the
national championships and the regional and international levels. A fully
sponsored programme, the Asia Dream Cup has become a much coveted opportunity
among young hopefuls from around the region. Within five short years, the Asia
Dream Cup had clocked tremendous success with their proteges now making waves
around the world.
The year 2012 winner Hikari
Okubo is now a full-season World Superbike rider racing the 1000cc, 2013 and
2014 winners Hiroki Ono and Khairul Idham Pawi form a team in the Moto3 World
Championships, 2015 winner Mukhlada Sarapuech is now being trained in Japan.
Other luminaries from the Asia Dream Cup platform include Australian rider Josh
Hook, now a WSBK rider with Hikari Okubo; as well as Indonesian Gerry Salim who
is beginning to make big strides in the SuperSports 600cc class of the FIM Asia
Road Racing Championship.
The Asia Dream Cup gained
global prominence recently when Malaysian rider Khairul Idham Pawi became the
first South East Asian to win the Moto3 race. Khairul accomplished his feat at
the Argentinian Grand Prix on April 3.