Indian-based automotive group Mahindra has officially announced its entry into the Grand Prix
paddock. The first-ever Indian manufacturer in the series, Mahindra will campaign the finale 125 GP championship with riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter. The Mahindra Racing effort will continue beyond the 125 era when the class switches to the 4-stroke Moto3.
English rider Danny Webb will campaign his fifth 125GP season
competing 2011 with Mahindra Racing, the first Indian
manufacturer to enter Grand Prix racing..
“It is a matter of great pride for us to represent India in the world’s most prestigious two-wheeled race series,” said Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group in a company press release. “Mahindra Motorcycles will compete with the best in class, and it will be an ideal opportunity for us to showcase our strengths in the engineering and IT domains. MotoGP is the ultimate test for the finest talents in motorcycle racing and an immensely popular championship with a cult following. Our participation will also help us leverage the power of global branding for the Mahindra Group.”
Mahindra is one of India’s largest industrial groups, with a strong automotive division. Mahindra entered India’s high-volume, small-displacement two-wheeler market in 2008 when it purchased a controlling interest in Kinetic Motor Company. Mahindra also acquired the Italian-based Engines Engineering in 2008. With experience in Grand Prix racing stretching back to 2003, including 125 projects, Engines Engineering will provide the technical expertise for the Mahindra Racing effort.
The 19-year-old Webb has competed four full seasons in 125 GP, his best finish 10th overall in 2010. The English riders ’10 campaign featured numerous top-10 finishes, including a season best of sixth at the Red Bull
Indianapolis Grand Prix.
“I hope that all the experience I have racing in the 125cc class can help this new but ambitious team and I can take a step up this year,” said Webb of his new 2011 team. “It is a privilege to ride for the first Indian team to enter the World Championship. There seems to be a real buzz about India in international sport at the moment and it would be great if we get a good Indian following.”
The 2010 125GP campaign marked Marcel Schrotter first full season in Grand Prix. The German failed to log a top-10 run in ’10, his best showing 12th. The 18-year-old did notch a fifth-place result at the 2009 Valencia 125 finale, one of three Grand Prix he competed in that year.
The Mahindra Racing effort will make its track debut during the first tests of the new year in February.