Tag Archives: Formula 2

Chennai’s young sports personalities

Sports in India have always been synonymous with Cricket. Even though we have had famous personalities in other sports, they hardly get the kind of recognition and press as the cricket personalities do. I have decided to dig some names and personalities who are the future of Indian sports which includes non-cricketing superstars. This article only covers the sports personalities from my home town as Chennai/Tamil Nadu has always been a place which has produced variety of sports personalities. I am just naming few of the current stars.

Dipika Pallikal

She is born in Chennai and this 20 year old is a squash champion. She is the highest ranked squash player from India and is currently at 14th in the world. She has three WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players Association) titles and was the first Indian player to make the Quarter finals of world squash open. She also became the youngest Indian player to reach the summit clash of a silver event when she made it to the finals of “Tournament of Champions” Squash event in New York.

Dipika is a very talented squash player and has achieved a lot at a young age. Again Squash is a very low profile sport in India and she does not get too much of press as she should. Congrats to Dipika on a great 2011 where she climbed from 29th in the world to 14th at the end of it, hopefully she will have a better 2012.

Sarath Kumar

Nope he is not the Tamil actor. He is India’s first MotoGP racer in the 125 cc category. He is another racer from Chennai keeping the legacy of the city known for producing 2 formula 1 racers. The 20 year old Indian is the fastest rider in Indian class and was the first to break the 2 minute barrier on an Indian bake at the circuit. Another talented Indian sports personality who only got decent press due to him being the first Indian to ride in Moto GP. I hope he has a great 2012 and does well in the chances he gets.

Sharath kamal

He is yet another Indian sports personality who hardly gets enough press but is famous enough. Probably he is known the most around India among the names I have already mentioned. He is India’s number one table tennis player and has remained at the top for 4 years now. He won the gold at commonwealth games in 2006 and also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win an ITTF Pro title when he won at the Egypt open. He also captained the Indian team which defeated the English team who were the favorites and 9 time champions at the Egypt open in the same year.

Ilavazhagi

This is one person I found hardly any news about apart from a Chennai tabloid blog. The 2008 women’s world carom champion fought poverty to reach the pinnacle in the sport. She won the title in 2008 in France. The nation which was caught in the euphoria of the IPL completely missed the return of the triumphant Ilavazhagi’s return. The two time SAARC champion finally got the recognition when the State Government announced cash prize of 10 lakhs after her interviews in the media.

People who fight adversity and achieve great things need support of the media and the government. Champions like Ilavazhagi can actually inspire young people to achieve something and also teach them to fight to reach their goals. Kudos to her for the title and hope she goes on to do India proud at the world level once again.

Armaan Ebrahim

Yet another racer from Chennai following in the footsteps of Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandhok and Parthiva Sureshwaran, Armaan is the son of legendary Akbar Ebrahim who is the former British F3 champion. Armaan is a talented racer who competed in the Formula 2 championship in the years 2010 and 2011. He will be racing in the Firestone Indy lights in 2012. He has a great future and has very good reputation on circuit. Hope he has a great 2012 and wins quite a lot of races in the Indy lights. Another sports person who hardly finds any press

Tennis Scene in Chennai

Tennis and Chennai have always been hand in hand. The great father son duo of Ramanathan Krishnan and Ramesh Krishnan were from Chennai and so were the Amritraj brothers. Ramanathan Krishnan was probably the highest seeded Indian in Wimbledon when he was #4 in the 1962 championship. He has had multiple appearances in the Grand Slam Semi-Finals. His son Ramesh Krishnan also was a famous tennis icon in the 80’s. Following in the father’s footsteps, Ramesh also won the junior Wimbledon title in the late 70’s. Ramesh reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon once and US Open twice in his career. Ramesh reached his highest singles ranking of 23 in the year 1985.

Following in the tennis legacy of Chennai was Vijay Amritraj. Yet another great player from the Chennai shores. Amritraj was the highest ranked Singles player from India in the open era. His highest ranking was 16th in the world. Amritraj also reached the quarter-finals of US Open and Wimbledon and also had an impressive 384-296 W/L record in singles.

The greatness of the tennis scene did not stop with the Krishnan’s and the Amritraj brothers. It is to be noted that Leander Paes and current Indian number 1 Somdev Devvarman learned their trade in Chennai. Leander is the aluminous of the famous Loyola College in Chennai and did his schooling in the famous Madras Christian College. Chennai boasts of the famous Numgambakkam tennis stadium where the prestigious Chennai Open takes place every year. The Krishnan tennis center and the Britannia Amritraj tennis academy train lots of young players in India.

Chennai is also the home for the famous MRF pace foundation which has given the Indian cricket team lots of famous pace bowlers under the tutelage of legendary Dennis Lillie.

Chennai has always had a multi-faceted sporting culture. We have legends from tennis, Chess, Carom, table tennis and off course cricket. Chess champion and world number 1 Viswanathan Anand comes from Chennai and so do lots of Grand Masters following in his footsteps. This article is just the tip of the ice berg, there are number of other young achievers I might have missed. There are for sure lots of other sports achievers throughout the country who are not that well known through India. I just did this for Chennai and I already feel exhausted and I have not even included every young achiever in the city. Just imagine how many would be there throughout the country. Please add to the list if you know of such sports personalities. These stars require as much recognition and press as a cricketer does.

Formula 2 – Armaan hangs on to top 10 spot

Armaan Ebrahim notched up his first podium finish in Formula Two at Spain

A brilliant finish in the final race of the season at Valencia helped Armaan to hold on to the top 10 spot in the overall standings. Armaan had a brilliant race in the round 17 and 18 in Valencia where he managed his first podium finish. It was a memorable race for the Indian driver when he finished 3rd in the first race and 7th in the second race.

With Ajith and Parthiva suddenly doing the disappearing act in the middle of the season, Armaan was the lone Indian representative at the end of it all. It was a brilliant debut season for Armaan in F2 and he will hope to build on the same in the coming season. The 21 year old Indian driver proves that he is one of the most promising Indian talents in motor racing following in the footsteps of Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. Hopefully we will see him racing alongside the best in the world in Formula 1 in the future.

Formula Two – Armaan remains in top 10 as Ajith pulls out

Armaan continued to perform well in the formula two championships as he finished yet again in top 10 in both the races at Brandshatch. Parthiva Sureshwaran though continued his struggle this season as he finished at 18th and 14th in the two races respectively. Armaan’s consistent performances meant that he remains in the top 10 of the overall rankings.

Armaan who is ranked 9th in this year’s championships is just 5 points behind UK’s Jack Clarke who is at 8th. He would like to bridge the gap in the upcoming race at Brno. Ajith’s decision to pull out of the championships to concentrate on his next movie was a huge disappointment for me as I started to follow the season just because of his participation.

I was kind of confused initially regarding his absence but saw the twitter post from the Ajith fans club to learn that he has actually pulled out. Even though my interest has dipped a little bit following Ajith’s absence, I will still try to occasionally check out the progress of Parthiva and Armaan.

Anyways best of luck to Ajith on his next movie and hope he returns to racing in the future.

Formula two – Armaan and Parthiva in top 10 at Monza

Armaan was brilliant again in Monza as he achieved his first top 5 finish

It was a brilliant weekend for the Indian contingent at Monza this weekend when we had 2 top 10 finishes by Armaan and Parthiva respectively. Armaan Ebrahim who is currently at 7th in the overall standings was unlucky to crash out of the race one after starting 7th on the grid. He more than made up for that with a brilliant 5th place finish after being 16th on the grid after the qualifying. This was Armaan’s best performance in F2 till date and he is getting closer to the podium finish which we have been waiting for.

Ajith and Parthiva at the autograph session after their brilliant show in Monza

Parthiva Sureshwaran also had a brilliant race where he achieved his first top 10 finish in F2. His race 1 was little disappointing as he finished on 15th but made impressive run in the race two to get his first top 10 finish and thereby grabbing his first points for the season. He will surely want to build on this confidence to climb up the rungs and aim for consistent top 10 finishes for the remainder of the season.

For Ajith Kumar though this was a weekend of another consistent performance as he finished 14th and 15th in the race 1 and 2 respectively in Monza. Considering that he qualified at 21 in both the races this was a brilliant achievement by the Tamil movie superstar. Ajith will be proud of finishing ahead of Parthiva in race 1 who is a more experienced racer than the star himself. Ajith seemed extremely happy with his performance and said that he was really proud of what he has achieved this season in the formula two championships,

Speaking after the race Ajith said,

“I feel proud and privileged to race amongst some of the best drivers in the championship, especially our own country’s Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiva Sureshwaran. I am thrilled to be racing on this excellent circuit in Monza, Italy and am happy that I have completed the race in 14th Position”

So a satisfying week for the Indian racers in F2 this weekend in Monza and this sets up the next race at Zolder brilliantly for the 3 of them. Let’s hope that we have another brilliant race at Zolder.

Sports updates 1 – India bounced out once again, Armaan sizzles in Morocco

Since I have not posted for a while I decided to compile all the happenings in the sports world in a single post. I have decided to split this into two parts.

World T20 – Bounced out once again

Indian batsmen were sitting ducks against short pitched bowling in the recently concluded World T20

The Indian team cut a sorry figure in the recently concluded World T20 as they were bounced out yet again two years in a row in the super 8 stage of the championship. This year was an exact replica of the 2009 edition in England where the Indian team failed to win a single game in the second stage of the tournament. The batsmen looked sitting ducks against the pace of the Australian and West Indian bowlers and handed the games without a fight.

The performance of the Indian batsmen was baffling to say the least as they very well knew what to expect after their experiance in England last year. Raina, Sharma, Pathan and Ghambir struggled last year in England against short pitched stuff and they repeated the dose once again in West Indies. The bowling was bad a usual as except for Harbajan Singh everyone else was either unfit or inconsistent. The team selections were confusing and the fielding appalling.

This year’s exit was made even worse when the team coach lashed out against few players calling them unfit to play any form of cricket. The coach Gary Kirsten even said that he was fitter than few players in the Indian team at 42. And there was also a report of few players engaging in a pub brawl after their defeat against Sri Lanka. All in all it was another pathetic ICC World event for India under Dhoni. The silver lining though is that India has chosen a young team under Raina to participate in the tri series in Zimbabwe and I hope that we unearth some good players in that series.

Formula two – Armaan sizzles in Morocco

Armaan Ebrahim was brilliant in Morocco as he finished 6th in both the races

Armaan Ebrahim finished 6th in both the races in Morocco to cap off a brilliant race in the 3rd and 4th rounds of Formula two championship. Armaan’s top 6 finishes was despite the fact that he did not do that well in the qualifying as he finished at 8th and 11th respectively. With a brilliant performance in the Morocco leg of the championship he currently sits at 7th in the overall championship race.

Ajith Kumar also had a good race in Morocco as he finished identical 13th in both the races. Ajith would be really happy with this performance as he was able to finish 4 races in a row and would like to improve on his standings in the upcoming races starting with Monza on the 23rd of May. Parthiva Sureshwaran though had a mixed round 3 and 4 as he finished 11th in the first race and had to retire in the race 2.

All in all it was a good performance from the Indian contingent and it seems like we are not that far away from a podium finish. Please visit Formulatwo.com for the latest updates on the Monza race.

Formula two – Ajith speaks about his love for racing and the season ahead

Ajith speaks exclusively to Formulatwo.com

In an exclusive interview to Formula two website Ajith speaks about his goals for this season and also about the interest in motorsports in India. Ajith mainly talks about the current season and about his preparation for the next race in Morocco. He thanks his family for extending their support and for understanding his love for racing. He feels that it not always about winning or losing but it’s about living one’s dreams.

Please click here to read the entire interview from formula two official website.

Formula Two – Armaan Ebrahim finishes in top 10 at Silverstone

Armaan Ebrahim finished in the top 10 at Silverstone

Armaan Ebrahim finished at 8th and 9th in the two races over the weekend at Silverstone. He was the star performer for the Indian contingent F2 as both Ajith Kumar and Parthiva Sureshwaran achieved finishes in their first race of their F2 career.

Ajith Kumar who finished at the bottom of the pile (18th) in the race one, improved one position to finish 18th in the race two ahead of France’s Benjamin Lariche. Parthiva Sureshwaran though finished at identical 16th in both the races. Ajith would be extremely pleased with his efforts as he was able to complete both the races successfully and was able to beat one of the drivers in race two. Both Ajith and Parthiva have not been driving professionally for some time now, so it would have been a relief for them to finish both the races.

For Armaan though this was a good race and he ended up in points in the very first race of the season. He kept the Indian flag afloat in Silverstone and would hope that he can finish higher in the races to come. Parthiva and Ajith though would want to improve and try to finish in the top 15 in Marrakech on the 30th of April when the 3rd and 4th round of this year’s championship gets underway.

Good luck to all the three drivers and I hope that we get few podium finishes this year.