JK Tyre Motorsport drivers excel at the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in Indonesia

JK Tyre Motorsport drivers excel at the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in Indonesia
Lokesh Gowda and Ashwin Naik at the finish line of the Danau Toba Rally 2023

The weekend turned out to be an exciting and rewarding one for JK Tyre Motorsport drivers supported by Vamcy Merla Sports Foundation who were participating at the final round of Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) 2023 in Indonesia. The trio kept the Indian flag flying high with their determined & focused drives at the Danau Toba Rally with multiple podium finishes.  

The 21-year-old Jahaan Singh Gill from Chandigarh underlined his supremacy to clinch the prestigious FIA Junior Asia Pacific Rally Championship title 2023 in his maiden outing here on Sunday.

The APRC was running concurrently with the Danau Toba Rally of the Indonesia National Rally Championship (INRC), the JK Tyre Motorsport team of drivers were vying for top spot in the overall APRC, in the NVA (National Vehicles Approval) class and in the M2 class of the INRC.

In a total grid comprising 63 competitive drivers across categories, while Jahaan ruled the junior class, the other JK Tyre Motorsports drivers were also at their dominating best with Suhem Kabeer and Lokesh Gowda stamping their authority in the NVA category.

The Jubilant JK Tyre Motorsports team at the Danau Toba Rally, final round of the APRC 2023

Jahaan has been in stellar form at the domestic circuit and recently sealed the Junior Indian National Rally Championship in Coorg. The rookie finished 8th overall in APRC R2 class as he took home his maiden international title.

“I am really happy with this achievement and would like to help to thank JK Tyre Motorsport and Vamcy Merla Foundation for their support. It was very difficult terrain and driving for the first time was not an easy task. The stages were already very tricky and the rains made it worse. We knew the hazards of driving on this surface but we held our act together and managed to end on the podium,” an elated Jahaan said.

 Jahaan, entered into rallying back in 2021 in K1000 Rally soon caught the attention of the Indian motorsports fraternity and earned a lot of plaudits for his penchant for speed and technical driving. Driving a Subaru WRX STi, the youngster alongwith his co-driver Suraj Keshava Prasad of Bengaluru, did well to battle the tricky surface which became very dangerous due to continuous rains and finished the 12 stage gravel course rally.

Driving for the first time in an international rally, the Mysuru lad Suhem Kabeer along with his navigator PVS Murthy was at his imperious best and posted some impressive timings to win the NVA category and achieve the 4th position overall. In the M2 class of Indonesia National Rally Championship, Suhem finished an impressive second.

“It was one of the most difficult rallies that I have been part of. It was an uncharted territory for us with little knowledge of the terrain. The slush made the stages very slippery and I had to dig deep into my reservoir to finish the event unscathed,” Suhem said.

Bengaluru’s Lokesh (&co-driver Ashwin Naik) on a comeback trail in rallying had a memorable outing too as he finished second in the NVA category and third in the M2 category for Team JK Tyre Motorsports in the premier continental championship. He also finished fifth in the overall category.

The celebration just didn’t end with the drivers ruling the podium as team JK Tyre Motorsport was awarded the best team performance award.

The Danau Toba Rally was spread across 12 all-gravel roads from conditions varying from wide open plantation sections to twisty winding mountainous sections. With the opening ceremony on Friday from the picturesque Kaldera, the cars then contested the 2.07 km super special stage followed by six special stages covering 86.4 kms on Saturday.

The remaining five stages on Sunday used a combination of repeat and reverse direction roads making it a challenging weekend for the participants. Among the top contenders were local entrants from Jakarta Rifat Sungkar who won the rally fdriving a Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo followed by Rizhal Sungkar from Jakarta in his Hyundai i20 N and Atuy Faturrahman also from Jakarta who finished third in his Skoda Fabia Rally 2evo. 


Overall APRC:

Suhem Kabeer & PVS Murthy- 4th

Lokesh Gowda & Ashwin Naik – 5th

Jahaan Singh Gill & Suraj Prasad – 8th


NVA Category:

Suhem Kabeer & PVS Murthy- 1st

Lokesh Gowda & Ashwin Naik – 2nd

Jahaan Singh Gill & Suraj Prasad – 3rd

M2 category of INRC:

Suhem Kabeer & PVS Murthy- 2nd

Lokesh Gowda & Ashwin Naik –3rd

Jahaan Singh Gill & Suraj Prasad – 5th

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