Shanmugam pleased with Euro JK season despite title loss

Ananth Shanmugam says he is satisfied with his third season in the rebranded Euro JK series, having improved his race craft and matured further as a racing driver.

Shanmugam was arguably the most consistent driver in the JK Tyre-run championship, with his streak of nine successive podium finishes in the middle of the campaign being the highlight of the year.

Although the Singapore-based driver could do little about Anindith Reddy who won the championship by putting on a dominant show in the second half - Shanmugam was still able to take away plenty of positives from his personal performances.

“The season was excellent from a driving point of view as I was consistently the fastest from round two," he told Motorsport.com.

"My race craft was something I can be happy about as well. I was able to get to the limit faster and also consistently lap at a record pace.

"So despite finishing second in the championship, there are definitely a lot of positives that I can take to the future,’’ he added.

Technical issues cost title

Much like his rivals Reddy and Nayan Chatterjee, Shanmugam had his own set of technical problems that plagued his campaign.

The 18-year-old's lack of podium finishes in Round 1 and a penalty in Round 4 proved to be decisive in the end.

“The issues that we had in round one and round four made all the difference," he started.

"Being crashed into and having a broken clutch didn't do me any favours, especially when Anindith won those races.

“Brake issues in round three also meant that I couldn't capitalise on my strong qualifying pace, which was another missed opportunity to score points.”

More track time

Indian drivers usually stand at a disadvantage to their European counterparts, who spend significantly more time behind the wheels of a racing car - whether racing or testing.

Although a Euro JK season constitutes of 16 races across four rounds - more than any other championship in India - Shanmugam still feels drivers can gain a lot with more track time.

“Any driver needs a lot of track time to develop, regardless of whether they are Indian or European,’’ Shanmugam explained.

“When you do 30-33 races in a season along with some test days, the opportunities to learn and improve are much higher than when you only race four times a year without any testing.

“Testing gives you the chance to focus and work on the details without having to face the consequences and pressures of a race weekend."

The advantage of more track time was perhaps best illustrated by Reddy, who took advantage of a dual campaign in Indian National Racing Championship and Euro JK to win a title in his maiden year in single-seaters.

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About this article
Series Indian Open Wheel
Drivers Ananth Shanmugam
Article type Breaking news